The Last Exit to Normal
By Michael Harmon
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780375840982, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 11, 2008
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It’s true: After 17-year-old Ben’s father announces he’s gay and the family splits apart, Ben does everything he can to tick him off: skip school, smoke pot, skateboard nonstop, get arrested. But he never thinks he’ll end up yanked out of his city life and plunked down into a small Montana town with his dad and Edward, The Boyfriend. As if it’s not painful enough living in a hick town with spiked hair, a skateboard habit, and two dads, he soon realizes something’s not quite right with Billy, the boy next door. He’s hiding a secret about his family, and Ben is determined to uncover it and set things right. In an authentic, unaffected, and mordantly funny voice, Michael Harmon tells the wrenching story of an uprooted and uncomfortable teenaged guy trying to fix the lives around him–while figuring out his own.
Michael Harmon is the author of Skate, “a remarkable first novel,” according to Kirkus Reviews. He lives in Spokane, Washington, where he is at work on his next novel for Knopf.
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 18, 2008:
"Because [Harmon's] take on people is convincing, audiences will want to believe in his story, too."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, April 2008:
"It is filled with atypical character interactions that make it an excellent read."
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org