Josh had sex with his teacher. As a 12 year-old seventh-grader his history teacher selected, groomed and eventually manipulated Josh into a sexual “relationship”. As Mrs. Sherman is brought to justice and the entire town learns of the sordid details Josh retreats into his own head.
Now a senior in high school, a gifted baseball player with an amazing mind, Josh is having a hard time breaking away from his seventh grade self. For six years he has felt like the proverbial elephant in the room- the one that everybody notices and is curious about, but won’t address. Perhaps the redemption/conclusion he craves will come in the form of an old female friend- the catalyst, in fact, to the outing of Mrs. Sherman.
While patches of Lyga’s writing suddenly fall flat, these speed bumps do not distract from the narrative. Barry Lyga has taken an extremely uncomfortable taboo subject, and made it just that. There is nothing salacious or titillating about the sex described in this book. Through a believable protagonist, Lyga presents the confusing and damaging after-effects of this situation with honesty and compassion.
Posted by Karin Mendez