Though he’s president of his class now, Riverdale High’s Kevin Keller was a middle school mess.
Setting up for the prom with Veronica and Jughead prompts Kevin, Archie’s popular gay friend, to recount events surrounding his first prom back at Medford Middle School. Always the new kid, Army brat Kevin is chubby, zitty and brace-faced. He doesn’t know he’s gay, but he is a happy member of the comics-and-video-game–loving Geek Squad. With his three friends, he dodges school bully Elliot and tries to hang out with handsome swim-team captain Timmy. As the prom approaches, Elliot steps up bullying of classmate Luke, Timmy ignores the Squad, and friend Sammie (Samantha) wants more of a relationship than Kevin is ready for. Suddenly, Kevin’s square in Elliot’s sights. It turns out to be quite a night! Kupperberg offers a text-only back story on popular Archie Comics character Kevin Keller. There’s nothing particularly literary about it, but fans will enjoy and others may be prompted to pick up Kevin’s comic-book adventures. Kevin’s inner life is realistic, and the attempt to keep the perpetual teens of Riverdale current is commendable. However, technology and social issues in Riverdale still feel a bit like sunglasses on a cat.
A bubble-gum problem novel for gay preteens which may be innovation enough to warrant purchase. (Fiction. 9-12)