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Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills…

Freaks and Revelations (edition 2009)

by Davida Wills Hurwin

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151779,164 (4.02)1
Title:Freaks and Revelations
Authors:Davida Wills Hurwin
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2009), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:GLBTRT, Stonewall Book Awards, Stonewall Honor Books in Children & Young Adult, 2011, Rainbow Book List

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Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

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The story takes two unconnected teens through their traumatic lives until the meet in a dreadful confrontation. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was a bit off - so I wasn't surprised to read in an after ward that it was a fictionalised account of two real people who now work to prevent homophobia. Perhaps the hard copy lets the reader know up front that it is based on a true story? My fiction critic might have disengaged if I'd known in advance. I prefer other stories, this felt didactic to me. However, for someone reading this it might be very comforting to know the stories are true and the events survivable. ( )
  francescadefreitas | Apr 13, 2011 |
This is a very moving, and scary book. These two teenagers go through so much and have such hard lives. This is an incredible book that I think everyone should read at least once in their life. It is touching, heartbreaking, even funny and sweet at times. A definite must read. ( )
  mesmericrevelation | Aug 21, 2010 |
This book is what I would call insightful. It's a definite eye opener to the world around you. Davida Hurwin did an excellent job building these characters. Based on Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal's story; Davida managed to really catch the message they were trying to get across.
I cried during this book; being an adult I see this all around me and it's disturbing. I was glad to see a YA book that was so honest and straightforward. No sugarcoating was involved.
While my daughter is still too young right now, this book will be staying on my shelf till she's old enough to read it. I think it's so IMPORTANT to educate our kids about being prejudice and I think that this book can aid in that. It can definitely get the message out to different groups of kids effectively.
Personally I think this book would be great for kids from about 8th grade on up. (Maybe even younger at the parent's discretion) I think it should be on ALL library shelves.
For parents: If you have teens...buy this book for your kids (or get it from the library). It teaches us something so vital in life...ACCEPTANCE. ( )
1 vote Cajunbooklady | Dec 22, 2009 |
This fact-based work of fiction was fascinating. The author did a fabulous job of getting inside the psyche of each of the main characters and bringing their voices to life. It was a quick read but by no means trifling. The horror of violence is presented without gratuitous gore. The sheer magnitude of the irony in the repeated crossing of paths between these two men is incredible. Their first encounter was disastrous, but opened the door for revelations on both their parts. However, the gravity of the consequences on each made it necessary for a quarter century to pass before this could happen.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a realistic yet hopeful take on the topics of hate, tolerance, and forgiveness. ( )
  KidsCatsBooks | Dec 13, 2009 |
Based on a true story, Hurwin reveals, in alternating chapters covering a period of years, how two teen-aged boys from different, but equally painful backgrounds come to meet in a violent attack in an alley in Southern California.

At ten, Doug's older brother, Carl, is shot by a black man, fueling the already racist leanings of their parents who have already moved the family to a whiter community. To the fury of their parents, Carl refuses to press charges. Meanwhile, their sister has moved out to live with her boyfriend, with Carl following soon after. Doug begins, at a young age to drink and use drugs, becoming more distant from his inattentive parents, and more disaffected with life in general. It isn't until he discovers the Punk rock scene that he begins to feel connected to anyone or anything. Unfortunately, it is the more violent and extreme aspects of the scene that draw him in, and combined with the racist attitudes he was brought up with, he becomes a skinhead.

Jason's family is equally problematic, with an uncle arrested for child pornography, a crazy grandmother, and a runaway brother, all of whom no one mentions. When his parents get divorced, their mother suddenly becomes very pious and strict, leading one of Jason's sisters to say it seems they'd traded their father for God. Meanwhile, at twelve, Jason is beginning to notice other boys at dance class. He decides that what his family needs is to start being more honest, and comes out at a family meeting. His father walks out, and his mother packs his backpack and sees him to the door, leaving Jason with no idea of what to do other than go to the Castro (San Francisco's largely gay neighborhood). While he resists turning tricks for a long time, he can't keep it up forever, and soon finds himself over his head using drugs and getting into dangerous situations with older men. Eventually he heads to L.A. with an acquaintance, only to be abandoned on a street corner. It isn't long before he gets the lay of the land, makes a good friend, Coco, and begins to scrape by the same way he had been in San Francisco.

One night Doug and his friends, high and angry, decide to go out queer bashing, and find Jason and Coco at a restaurant they consider to be their territory. Jason and Coco run, but Jason ends up trapped in an alley where Doug and his friends beat him and leave him not knowing if he is even alive.

Twenty five years later, the two meet again in surprising circumstances that change both their lives.

Hurwin manages to bring both characters sympathetically to life in this thought-provoking and powerful novel. Freaks and Revelations would make an excellent discussion choice, useful in a variety of classroom settings, or as a book-group read. ( )
  nansilverrod | Oct 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316049964, Hardcover)

This raw, moving novel follows two teenagers-one, a Mohawk-wearing 17-year-old violent misfit; the other, a gay 13-year-old cast out by his family, hustling on the streets and trying to survive. Acclaimed author Davida Wills Hurwin creates a riveting narrative told in alternating perspectives of their lives before and after the violent hate crime that changed both their futures. This tragic but ultimately inspirational journey of two polarized teens, their violent first meeting, and their peaceful reunion years later is an unforgettable story of survival and forgiveness.

This story is inspired by the real lives of Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal, who have shared their story on The Oprah Winfrey Show and NPR.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:37 -0400)

Tells, in two voices, of events leading up to a 1980 incident in which fourteen-year-old Jason, a gay youth surviving on the streets as a prostitute, and seventeen-year-old Doug, a hate-filled punk rocker, have a fateful meeting in a Los Angeles alley.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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