THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK by Brent Hartinger

THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sixteen-year-old Russell and his two best friends, Gunnar and Min, from the Goodkind High School Gay-Straight-Bisexual Alliance sign up to be camp counselors at sleep-away camp. Russell’s looking forward to escaping the “gay kid” label he’s had since founding the Alliance. On arrival, both Russell and Min crush on 19-year-old hottie, Web, but Min ends up dating him. Russ befriends a counselor with a scarred face, only to discover that all the campers in the first two-week session are burn survivors. The kids are happy to be away from a society that stigmatizes them because of their scars, and the similarity of their predicament to his is not lost on Russ. Searching for a way to connect with his cabin full of unruly ten-year-olds, he comes up with the Order of the Poison Oak, a secret society for outsiders. Hartinger revisits his characters from The Geography Club (2003) and creates a more touching and realistic portrait of gay teens. The characters are three-dimensional, and Russell narrates in a perfect teen patois that is often hilarious. Teens—gay and straight—will connect. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-056730-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005




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