Russel Middlebrook is convinced he's the only gay kid at Goodkind High School. Then his online gay chat buddy turns out to be none other than Kevin, the popular but closeted star of the school's baseball team. Soon Russel meets other gay students, too. There's his best friend Min, who reveals that she is bisexual, and her soccer-playing girlfriend Terese. Then there's Terese's politically active friend, Ike. But how can kids this diverse get together without drawing attention to themselves?
"We just choose a club that's so boring, that nobody in their right mind would ever in a million years join it. We could call it Geography Club!"
Brent Hartinger's debut novel, what became first of a series about Russel Middlebrook, is a fast-paced, funny, and trenchant portrait of contemporary teenagers who may not learn any actual geography in their latest club, but who learn plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school and the even more dangerous landscape of the human heart. This is Book 1 in the Russel Middlebrook Series.
Narrator Josh Hurley's performance has the fervent honesty of a confession, and his narration will resonate with listeners who know what it feels to be different and isolated. High school sophomore Russel Middlebrook is gay and closeted, and it feels like the only time he can really be himself is when he's chatting online with a gay buddy. When that buddy turns out to be the gorgeous star of the school's basketball team, and after his best friend reveals that she's bisexual, Russel begins to realize that he may not be alone, after all. Hurley movingly depicts how Russel's self-protective shell transforms into a voice that is filled with confidence and hope.
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