Smith, A. (2011). Stick. NY: Feiwel and Friends.
Stick (Stark McClellan) is a young boy that was born with only one ear. All his life he has been bullied and made fun of by kids at school, and his own parents. Stick's parents are very strict with him and his older brother Bosten. When the rules aren’t strictly followed, the boys are beaten and locked in a room for days. After Bosten beats up a boy that is bullying Stick, things start to change. Stick discovers that his brother is gay and in love with his best friend. Stick also discovers that he is really in love with his best friend Emily too. When the truth comes out about Bosten’s relationship, his dad beats him and he runs away. Stick then begins the journey to find Bosten and save him if he can. With the help of his older brother, Bosten and his best friend Emily, Stick learns to step up and defend himself and be the person he really wants to be. I could not put this book down. It was heartbreaking and beautiful. Ted Hipple has noted some great criteria for finding good young adult books. One item on the list that applies to this book is that it reflects real life and has artistry in detail. This book was uniquely written to show the way a young boy with one ear would hear and speak. Sadly, this book truly could reflect real life.This book could be used with grades 9-12. You should definitely preview this book first, due to some graphic content.
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