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Almost Perfect

Cover of Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect

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Whether you're trans, gay, lesbian, bi, queer, questioning, or straight, this winner of the Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Literature Award will make you marvel at the beauty of human connection and the irrepressible nature of love.

Everyone has that one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do. We draw the line. Maybe we even believe it.

Sage Hendricks was my line.

Logan Witherspoon befriends Sage Hendricks at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. As time goes on, he finds himself drawn to Sage, pulled in by her deep, but sexy feminine voice and her constant smile. Eventually Logan's feelings for Sage grow so strong that he can't resist kissing her. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she was born a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage. Once his anger has cooled, however, his regrets lead him to attempt to rekindle their friendship. But it's hard to replace something that's been broken--and it's even harder to find your way back to friendship when you began with love.

***

"Tackles issues of homophobia, hate crimes and stereotyping with humor and grace in an accessible tone that will resonate with teens." --Kirkus Reviews

"It is Sage's story that is truly important." --SLJ

"Teens--both those familiar with transgender issues and those who are not--will welcome the honest take on a rarely explored subject." --Booklist

"A sensitive examination of the seldom treated subject of transgender teens." --VOYA

From the Hardcover edition.
Whether you're trans, gay, lesbian, bi, queer, questioning, or straight, this winner of the Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Literature Award will make you marvel at the beauty of human connection and the irrepressible nature of love.

Everyone has that one line they swear they'll never cross, the one thing they say they'll never do. We draw the line. Maybe we even believe it.

Sage Hendricks was my line.

Logan Witherspoon befriends Sage Hendricks at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. As time goes on, he finds himself drawn to Sage, pulled in by her deep, but sexy feminine voice and her constant smile. Eventually Logan's feelings for Sage grow so strong that he can't resist kissing her. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she was born a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage. Once his anger has cooled, however, his regrets lead him to attempt to rekindle their friendship. But it's hard to replace something that's been broken--and it's even harder to find your way back to friendship when you began with love.

***

"Tackles issues of homophobia, hate crimes and stereotyping with humor and grace in an accessible tone that will resonate with teens." --Kirkus Reviews

"It is Sage's story that is truly important." --SLJ

"Teens--both those familiar with transgender issues and those who are not--will welcome the honest take on a rarely explored subject." --Booklist

"A sensitive examination of the seldom treated subject of transgender teens." --VOYA

From the Hardcover edition.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.5
  • Lexile:
    620
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Reading Level:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you


 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter one

    I'm not sure what I loved most about being on the track team. Maybe it was the crippling shin splints. Or constantly feeling like I'd just smoked three packs of cigarettes. Maybe it was the empty stands at every meet, or the way the results got buried in the local sports section.

    The football field was by far the best feature of Boyer, Missouri. My hometown, which barely boasted two thousand people, pumped nearly every tax dollar they could into maintaining the facility. The city of Boyer was little more than a half-dozen trailer parks, an electronics factory, and five churches, but the football field was always pristine. The maintenance staff mowed the grass twice a week and watered it every day in the summer. The bleachers gleamed, the locker rooms sparkled, and the scoreboard towered like some great pagan idol. The crumbling structure of Boyer High School stood across the parking lot, almost as an afterthought.

    Us track poseurs were permitted to run the perimeter of the sacred field, but only when the football heroes had no use for it. During the fall we had to run laps in the parking lot while the Boyer Bears practiced. One time we were run off by the marching band, which gives you an idea of where we stood in the school food chain.

    It was mid-November. My friend Jack Seversen and I had managed to squeeze in some after-school running, trying to stay in shape for the winter. The cold wind chilled my sweat-soaked body, making me shiver and swelter at the same time. Exhausted and thirsty, I walked a final lap to avoid muscle cramps, then limped toward the watercooler.

    "You suck, Logan!" shouted Jack, jogging up behind me. Even though he'd run as much as I had, he was still vibrating with raw energy. Thin as a whip and gangly, Jack reminded me of a broken fan belt, wildly flailing in no particular direction. Track wasn't a sport for him; it was merely an excuse to move.

    "Hey, check it out." He jabbed his bony, spastic hand toward the football field. The Boyer cheerleaders were wrapping up their practice. I'd heard that in bigger towns, only the pretty, graceful girls made the squads. In Boyer, with a student body of about two hundred, the only membership requirement was a majority of intact limbs and the ability to bend at the waist.

    Jack and I reached the water table. I chugged a couple of cups, while my friend, in spite of the low temperature, dumped his over his head. He shook like a wet dog. Eventually, he managed to focus on me. Even then, his protruding brown eyes spun in their orbits like a weather vane in March. Jack had that intense mania common in serial killers and car salesmen.

    "You should go talk to Tanya. She likes you."

    Without meaning to, I glanced over at the squad. I could just make out Tanya's form as she did jumping jacks with the others.

    "It's a wonder she doesn't knock herself out," I muttered. In elementary school (in Boyer, you knew all your classmates since kindergarten), Tanya had been the fat girl. Then, in eighth grade, most of her body mass had migrated into her chest. She wasn't exactly bikini material, but she did have a couple of good points.

    "C'mon, Logan. Don't tell me you wouldn't like to press your face into her chest and make motorboat noises."

    I stifled a laugh. "Piss off, Jack."

    I walked over to the bleachers and grabbed my bag from next to my old bike. Jack followed me, almost uncomfortably closely, and then suddenly grabbed my shoulder.

    "Dude, it's time to get back in the game."

    I yanked away. "Drop it, okay?"

    He didn't drop it. "You're a senior, Logan. In May, we leave this place forever. Don't spend your last semester moping...

About the Author-
  • Brian Katcher is the author of Playing with Matches, and a school librarian. He lives in Missouri with his wife and daughter. You can visit him on the Web at www.briankatcher.com.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
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Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Almost Perfect
Brian Katcher
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