Ellen Jaffe McClain No Big Deal

ISBN 13: 9780140380460

No Big Deal

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9780140380460: No Big Deal
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Janice Green does not understand why everyone in town, including her mother, is getting so excited about the rumors that her favorite teacher, Mr. Padovano, is gay

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From Publishers Weekly:

McClain makes a deft debut with this thought-provoking, timely novel. For overweight Janice Green, or Baby Huey (as class bully Kevin Lynch calls her), the only good things about the junior high in her New Jersey suburb are her best friend--intelligent, beautiful Holly Johansen, who has just moved there--and sixth-period social studies with Mr. Padovano. Then rumors begin to circulate that Mr. P is gay and Janice catches Kevin spray-painting Mr. P's car with anti-gay graffiti. After striking an uneasy bargain with Kevin, Janice finds herself battling her own mother, who joins a movement to get Mr. P fired. As Janice struggles with the growing furor over what she considers "no big deal," she discovers that Kevin's brother is gay and HIV-positive, she begins to understand that prejudice often stems from hidden fears. Padovano is not fired, but he tells Janice that he plans to look for a job in a more accepting district--a bittersweet outcome that reflects an all-too-real situation. McClain handles the various reactions to Mr. P's homosexuality and, especially, the antagonistic relationship between Janice and Kevin, with an astute eye and sharp sense of humor. Her multifaceted characters go well beyond the categories of good and bad to show that appearances can be deceiving. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9-McClain captures the essence of the junior high experience-the humiliation and cruelty, triumphs and friendships, and the rare good fortune of stumbling upon a wonderful teacher. With only a few instances of flawed, uncharacteristic dialogue, she paints a realistic picture of a suburban school torn over the issue of a well-loved teacher, Mr. Padovano, who is gay. The fast-moving story is captivating, placing readers squarely in Janice Green's shoes as she watches her hero's persecution. Kevin, an obnoxious bully, makes her life miserable until she comes to understand the reason for his outspoken loathing of Mr. Padovano. Janice's mother is at first outraged at the prospect of a gay man teaching her daughter, but her anger turns to confusion and eventually support. Janice finds solace in a new friend, Holly, and in a long-time ally, her grandmother. Some things work out a little too easily, but the ending is bittersweet and readers will have to decide the true outcome for themselves. A well-written, sensitive book that gets right to the heart of a timely issue.
Julie Halverstadt, Douglas Public Library District, Castle Rock,
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780525674832: No Big Deal: 9

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0525674837 ISBN 13:  9780525674832
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile, 1994
Hardcover

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