Monday, April 19, 2010

Poster Boy by Dede Crane

In Poster Boy, Graydon Fallon's life comes crashing down around him when his 12-year old sister, Maggie, is diagnosed with cancer. Until this moment, the 16-year old has really only cared about video games, his friends and how far he can get with his girlfriend, Natalie. Graydon loves having the basement to himself so he can party with his friends. Everything seemed so simple until now.

Maggie, who wants to be a scientist, is diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Stunned by this news, Graydon researches cancer and what could have caused his sister's illness. As he locates overwhelming lists of carcinogens on-line, he begins to obsess over his findings and eventually wants to move to an organic farm and live like a caveman. His story gets media attention but it becomes more difficult than Graydon thought to live naturally.

Every part of Graydon's life changes throughout the book, especially the relationships with his classmates and his parents. Graydon and his mom react similarly, however, Graydon can not understand his father's perceived indifference and the two seriously clash.

Crane has a deft touch mixing in a bit of humor to the story, including awesome Chuck Norris jokes. The plot is also accented with Maggie's science project where she verbally abuses one set of plants while loving the other set. I found Graydon to be quite unlikable but the story of his quest to change things despite his iffy intentions was fascinating.

Fans of Norma Howe's The Adventures of Blue Avenger will enjoy also Poster boy.

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