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Sprout [Kindle Edition]

Dale Peck
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $6.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $5.38
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Book Description

When Sprout and his father move from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother, he is sure he will find no friends, no love, no beauty. But friends find him, the strangeness of the landscape fascinates him, and when love shows up in an unexpected place, it proves impossible to hold. An incredible, literary story of a boy who knows he's gay, and the town that seems to have no place for him to hide.


Editorial Reviews

Review

'Playful and plain-spoken ... at times, hilarious' Financial Times 'A touching tale ... Sprout comes from a long tradition of American writing about alienated teenagers (obvious ancestors are Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield) to which it is a highly readable addition' 3SIXTY

About the Author

Dale Peck is the American novelist and journalist who is known for his acerbic wit and uncompromising critical stance. His novel Martin and John was published to huge critical acclaim over fifteen years ago. Since then, Dale has published a very frank and moving memoir of his father, What We Lost, published by Granta. Dale lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 423 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1599901609
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (October 26, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043D2BL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So I feel a lot of pressure as I write this review. I won't even mention the ONE other review on Amazon. I'm not someone who routinely gives out 5 stars... in fact, if you click on "read other reviews" you'll see I've been a pretty tough critic lately, especially regarding the books I've read. I also get the feeling not many people will ever even hear of this book.

I just finished Sprout. Wow. I also just ordered two more books by this author. Anything I write feels like a cliche: I didn't want it to end, amazing character development,I grew to love the characters and the well-worn COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. All those things are true.

So what's this book about? A teenage boy nicknamed Sprout, who happens to have green hair, and happens also to be gay. His mother dies (handled as a flashback in the book), leaving him with his alcoholic father (ok the one thing that was maybe a teeny cliche), moving from Long Island to Kansas. Very different from Long Island.

This book isn't about Sprout wrestling with being gay. It's also not about him struggling for acceptance. Or even coming out to his father (his father knows). It's about Sprout dealing with his mother's death, honing his writing skills (makes me wonder if this is semi-autobiographical), falling in lust, falling in love, worrying about a future after high school. This is next-gen gay, where the protagonists' sexuality is an interesting but not a defining detail.

The narrative switches from the third to the first person and back again. Lots of commentary from the narrator directly to us, the readers, fleshing out details, making wry observations on the situation that until that very second we've been reading about in third person. And did I mention the book is funny?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring to young and old alike June 12, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If I were allowed to rate this book 4.5 stars, I would. I suppose if I hadn't recently read The Book Thief, I might very well have rated Sprout 5 stars. But what's the meaning of a 5 star rating if we were to rate excellent books and the very best books of our age with the same rating? And, yes, I do agree this is an excellent and moving read.

A boy named Daniel moves from Long Island to Kansas after the death of his mother. The father is unable to cope with the loss of his wife and decides to cash in on the equity in his home and hide away in a remote part of Kansas on a remote tract of land. He chooses to remain unemployed and in a constant drunken stupor. His son is left on his own to make sense of it all. With the help of his confidant Ruthie, Daniel dyes his hair green and takes on the nickname Sprout. The green hair seems to signify his desire to remain true to himself in a conformist culture by being as visibly different as he is in spirit. However, the green hair and nickname also represent a need to pull away from the harsh realities of his life. As he struggles with his identity and his fears, he falls in lust with the school jock and then falls in love with the school outcast.

This book is far less about the destination than the journey. If this weren't the case, I would have been frustrated with the ending. We don't know how everything turns out, but we don't need to know. What we do know is that Sprout approached a very difficult life with optimism and courage when only a few were there to offer encouragement. This story is powerful inspiration to young and older readers alike.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most Eccentric Book Likely to Be Banned This Year July 4, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It shouldn't take too long for this to make teen banned book lists across America. It's well-written, so it's probably going to be passed around high school friends quite quickly. However, it has more innuedo to profanity and sex than any novel I've read in a while. Yes, I said "innuendo". Sometimes double entendre and allusion gives you enough of a picture to not have to be reading the actual thing. And this was the author's intention. The back cover says that "Sprout has a secret. It's not what you think -- he'll tell you he's gay." I assumed this meant that his sexuality wasn't going to be a focus of the book. I was wrong.

I have to say that I fell in love with the writer's ideas for eccentric characters in this book. Daniel (a.k.a. Sprout) is a talented writer with green hair. He loves word play. I love word play. Thus, Sprout was instantly cast in my mind as a character who could have been my high school best friend (except that my real best friend in high school wasn't gay). Sprout's dad has moved them from Long Island to Kansas to deal with his newly found widowdom. Dad's idea of landscaping includes planting vines to cover their small trailer and planting rows upon rows of dead trees with their roots up in the air instead of in the ground. Sprout's English teacher invites Sprout over to her house to practice his essay-writing and serves him alcohol and profanity (both of which he declines). It seems, however, that she's really invited him over to get closer to one of the subjects of his writing (and it's not Sprout).

The author has a real talent for creating memorable and distinct characters and has a real talent for using words in the most effective way possible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Author Tries to Hard to Create Literary Merit and Clearly Doesn't Know...
I've read a lot of YA lit, including a lot of gay YA lit, and this book is very much 50/50 for me. On one hand, the writer doesn't make the entire book about the fact that the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Nicole Mohr
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but too complicated to enjoy
author had pen in one hand and thesaurus and dictionary in the other. If he was to impress with language, he failed. I wanted to like this but just could not stay interested. Read more
Published 8 months ago by just relax
5.0 out of 5 stars This story was one of coming of age. A teenage boy and hid father.
They move to the conservative state of Kansas the middle part Hutchinson more or less the Bible belt of Kansas from New York. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Carla Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Look at your target...
This book was recommended to me by a friend. That friend went on and on about this being such an excellent read. He was not mistaken. Read more
Published 8 months ago by D.M.V
5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW AMERICAN CLASSIC! "CATCHER IN THE RYE" MOVE OVER
Every once in a long time there comes along a piece of literature that alters your view of the world. I am overjoyed to say that this is one of them. Read more
Published 11 months ago by jonboy
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel that moves beyond typical coming out stories
It's interesting how a book can be at both times affecting and totally off-putting.

At its core, Sprout is a coming of age novel about a boy who's been uprooted from his... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Andrew Sass
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend
Spout is amazingly well written. It is insightful, emotional, and humorous, all in one book. It isn't your typical teen novel, but it is one of the better ones.
Published 12 months ago by Tyler
4.0 out of 5 stars Sprout is Great Story Telling
Dale Peck has written a wonderful coming of age story with his usual penchant for pathos and grief. Peck is a great story teller and doesn't make us suffer through poor, juvenile... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting story
The author has quite a way with words!!
I would have probably never read this book (it was written about and for teenagers) but Amazon recommended it to me. Read more
Published 13 months ago by G. Mellen
5.0 out of 5 stars A real find! A great read, with surprising insights.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable book. From the thought processes of Sprout himself to the situations he and others were in to the insight into human nature including prejudices and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Allan French
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