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Desire Lines

by Jack Gantos

Sixteen-year-old Walker has accidentally discovered that two female classmates are lovers. When a rabid evangelical preacher arrives in their town, a witch-hunt is launched against gay students and Walker, for some reason, is the prime target. Walker knows the quickest way to divert the attention would be to give away the girls’ secret—but should he sacrifice their peace of mind for his? A powerful, unusual and thought-provoking read from an award-winning author.

Reviews

  • A tightly written first-person novel tells how 16-year-old Walker knows about the romance of two of his female classmates. While he understands the evil of intolerance—in this case homophobia in a rural community—he feels helpless, and tragedy ensues.
    — The New York Times Book Review
  • [Examines] at a high-school level the phenomenon of betrayal in the aid of self-preservation. What’s particularly interesting is that Gantos doesn’t let his victims off the hook either.
    — The Bulletin of the Center For Children's Books
  • Gantos is explicit when demonstrating how a climate of fear and suspicion can be concocted in a community, and how insecure young people—gay, straight—can be tormented by it.
    — Kirkus Review

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