Sunday, October 23, 2011

Also Known as Rowan Pohi, by Ralph Fletcher

The summer before they begin 10th grade, Bobby and his friends decide to see if they can create a fictional teenager, Rowan Pohi, and have him accepted into the prestigious private school in town.  They are all shocked when Rowan gets in, and Bobby secretly decides to take the experiment to the next level.  Bobby assumes Rowan's identity, and actually attend the private school, even securing a full scholarship.  But quickly, the ruse fails, and Bobby must decide who he wants to be, and what path he wants to take in life.

I have to say, I found this to be a really original story, and pretty well thought out.  While it was a bit far fetched that such a prestigious school would accept a student that close to the start of school, without an interview or official transcripts, they author does do a decent job of trying up most of those loose ends.  I liked that this story revolved around mostly male characters, something we see far too little in young adult books.  This helps the book appeal to young male readers, without being a stereotypical male book.  There is story here with real depth, and the framing helps male readers get in touch with real emotions.

There is some heavy stuff at play in the book, including alcoholism and abuse, so keep that in mind when allowing young adults to read the story, but it is handled in a way that makes the topics age appropriate.  All in all, I thought this was a good, realistic young adult book.

I received a review copy as part of the Amazon Vine program.

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