Sprout

Sprout

4.3 29
by Dale Peck
     
 

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When Sprout and his father move from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother, he is sure he will find no friends, no love, no beauty. But friends find him, the strangeness of the landscape fascinates him, and when love shows up in an unexpected place, it proves impossible to hold. An incredible, literary story of a boy who knows he's gay, and the town

Overview


When Sprout and his father move from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother, he is sure he will find no friends, no love, no beauty. But friends find him, the strangeness of the landscape fascinates him, and when love shows up in an unexpected place, it proves impossible to hold. An incredible, literary story of a boy who knows he's gay, and the town that seems to have no place for him to hide.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Daniel "Sprout" Bradford, 16, does a lot of his thinking out loud, speaking directly to readers in a wisecracking voice about the differences between Long Island, where he used to live, and Kansas, where he and his dad live now. He also shares his thoughts about secrets, lies, friendship, and love. He'd be the first to tell you that he's gay and his hair is dyed green. With encouragement from his hard-drinking English teacher (and benign neglect from his hard-drinking father), the teen navigates the hallways of "uptight" Buhler High with Ruthie, Ian, and Ty, and prepares for an essay contest in Topeka. His advanced vocabulary and esoteric references to Samson, fucate objects, Guns & Ammo , the Borg cube, and a double-entendre on Cumbria will intrigue readers who enjoyed Lemony Snicket's built-in definitions in their younger years. Sprout's wiseacre voice is often very funny and tinged with irony. The flawed adults seem a little unrealistic. The physical scenes are not overly detailed, though the teen's word choices can be a little crude. He will sometimes interrupt a passage that might be getting a little intimate by instructing readers to "Get your mind out of the gutter," or noting, "I'm not going to tell you what we did exactly, but there were a lot of giggles and a couple of ouches." At heart, this is the story of a boy looking for love, all the while knowing that the storybook "happily ever after" isn't going to apply to him.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX

Kirkus Reviews
When he was twelve, Daniel's dad packed the two of them up and moved from New York to Buhler, Kan. Daniel embraced his outsider status with the help of best friend Ruthie, dyed his hair green and accepted the nickname "Sprout." The summer before his junior year, English teacher Mrs. Miller coaches him for a statewide essay contest; in prepping, Sprout begins to acknowledge his secrets (both public and private). Everyone knows his dad is an eccentric alcoholic and that his mother died of cancer in New York. Everyone suspects Sprout is gay, but no one imagines his purely sexual relationship with school hunk Ian. When Ty, the damaged son of a Timothy McVeigh-loving nut, enters Sprout's life, everything gets shaken up. Peck's first aimed squarely at the YA audience is, at times, charming. Sprout's narrative voice is strong and realistic, and his observations are entertaining. As a whole, though, there're just too many issues. Add to the above: dating parent, teen pregnancy, betrayals of and by friends. Dedicated readers, especially young gays in the square states, will identify-and it's important enough for that reason. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher

“Sprout's narrative voice is strong and realistic, and his observations are entertaining.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A stellar step ahead for young adult literature's traditional examination of the life of the heroic antihero.” —VOYA

“Structurally effective, caustically entertaining, unpreachy, and thought-provoking.” —The Horn Book

“Sprout's wiseacre voice is often very funny and tinged with irony....At heart, this story is the story of a boy looking for love, all the while knowing that the storybook "happily ever after" isn't going to apply to him.” —School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599906249
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
653,548
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author


Dale Peck is the author of Drift House and The Lost Cities for middle grade readers; for adults he's written award-winning novels including the highly acclaimed Martin and John, a book of essays and a memoir. He is currently working on a sci-fi thriller with Heroes creator Tim Kring. This is his first book for teens.

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Sprout 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Sprout has seemingly made his life an open book: in a new town, people know that he lives in the trailer covered in vines, that his dad is the town drunk, and even that his mother passed away before he arrived. However, his being gay is supposed to be in that category and it's not completely that way. It does become known as the story goes on that he's gay, and I love that he doesn't have a problem with it, but it's still a bit of a secret for awhile. This book is told through the point of view of Sprout and the set-up is a bit hard to explain, but reads a lot like essays strung together in an overall story. Things in the beginning are mentioned later on, but there are points when it seems the story starts over and focuses on something else and then goes back. For example, the beginning of this deals a lot with a teacher and Sprout working on his essay writing in the summer so he can enter a competition that she believes he can win...only, of course, if he doesn't mention he's gay. Then the story stops talking about that for awhile and you focus more on a boy named Tyler that Sprout hates at first, but slowly starts to fall for. Eventually, the two parts line up for the end. It might sound a bit confusing, but it seems to work overall. I found myself invested more in the Tyler part as the story goes on, but the completion is a big part of Sprout's life and truly shows how he changes in the end. This isn't a happily-ever-after story, but it's not so depressing that you can't find the hope. That's something that Sprout always had to do...find hope and brightness in his sometimes messed up life. His relationship with Tyler was awkward and interesting and quite different than anything most people have read about, whether a straight or gay relationship. It seemed more realistic in a way. It wasn't "I'll love you forever" right away or even in the end. It was complicated and tough. In the end, SPROUT is a different kind of book that would appeal to people looking for something a little off, a little goofy, a little sad, and a little lovely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Couldnt put it down!! :)
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Stammers. "O-okay..." she whispers, when another grip of pain seizes her and she cries out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Howre the kits?" She called to crabsand
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Excuse me." I padded in, holding a dark, leafy herb. "I think that I can help."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Watched
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(I read it.) Morning!!!?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ya ya ok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Oh you already have a med cat ok then." He padded to a corner a looked around
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A red furred kittypet jumps over her household fence. She smelt her first wiff of prey, and she raced towards it, her paws slapping the leaves as she ran.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A black she-kit with a white cresent moon shape on her forehead and a white male with the same mark, but blck. They both look only a moon old and are exausted and tired
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A golden she-kit with a silvery cressent moon on her forehead watched Applewing with wide, curious blue eyes. <p>&star&starf&star&starf&star <p>A white she-kit with black muzzle, paws, chest, knees, tail-base, middle-tail, tail-tip and middle blinked her big blue eyes. <p>&star&starf&star&starf&star <p>A pitch black tom with blue eyes looked around. The kit's fur was so sleek, it looked sparkly. <p>&star&starf&star&starf&star <p>A dark, dark blue she-kit with amber eyes looked around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Help us stop nook sex by joining s.o.s. res 1 if you dont know why nook sex is bad we will explain when you get their sorry for tresspassing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Am i fighting? Then no, i dont fiht hazelclan."