Review Blog

Oct 08 2019

The prom by Saundra Mitchell and others

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241428214.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Themes: LGBTQI people, Dating, Prejudices. The prom is an emotional rollercoaster set within the constraints of a religious and largely intolerant small town. It follows Emma who is in her senior year at high school and the only out lesbian at her school. Her girlfriend and student president, Alyssa is struggling with coming out to her mother ahead of prom, the biggest event on their school calendar. Having accidentally outed herself at fourteen on her YouTube channel, Emma knows what it's like to have intolerant parents and while patient has every faith in her girlfriend. However, their plans get out of hand when Alyssa's mother and PTA president gets wind of Emma's plans to attend prom with a girl. An emergency meeting is called and tensions rise as new rules are instated. With the principal having no power over the PTA it's time for Emma to choose whether this is something she wants to fight. With the support of her Nan, Alyssa, and two down and out Broadway stars, Emma's life is about to change forever.
Adapted from the Broadway performance by Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin, and Matthew Sklar, Saundra Mitchell has brought an inclusive LGBTQIA+ story to a potentially wider audience. LGBTQIA+ inclusive stories and representations are highly important for young people who might otherwise be feeling quite alone and confused about their gender/sexuality throughout school and puberty. The novel deals with bullying and discrimination without lingering too much over the heartbreak of having an entire community questioning your personhood.
I would highly recommend for young people twelve and up, particularly those in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Kayla Gaskell

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