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You Don't Know About Me Hardcover
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Top customer reviews
On the road, Billy meets Ruah, a baseball player with a secret. Ruah is a homosexual, something that Billy, and his strict Christian background, believes is an unforgivable sin. Much in the way Jim shows Huck that everything he believes about black people is wrong, Ruah shows Billy that there is humanity behind every homosexual.
I love that you can teach this novel as a parallel to Twain's work. I think using the stand in of homosexuals for African Americans makes the text relevant and pertinent to modern adolescent readers. Ruah is such a likable character, also, and I believe reading him could cause many kids to open their minds (just like Dumbledore, or Jim from Huckleberry Finn). Touching on this sensitive topic in a way that is both familiar and new could be beneficial to readers who may not get exposed to this side of the argument in other areas of their lives. I think that any text that preaches acceptance of any type of people are worthy in themselves.
I was not a particular fan of Twain's work, and I did not really LOVE Meehl's response. It was a little boring at parts and I feel that if it was perhaps shortened a little it could be a much stronger text. I have my doubts that the average young adult reader would finish the entire text. I do see it being useful, however, as a supplement to Twain.
Billy is homeschooled so that picking up and leaving is easy. Their reasons for leaving are varied. Once they were arrested at a Piggly Wiggly for using black magic markers to blank out the word devil on products and signs all over the store. They had to get out of one town fast when his mother climbed the church steeple to rid it of a cell phone tower. In another town they got into trouble with a motorcycle gang for hammering off the Live free or Die slogan on their motorcycles.
Billy is the son of a Southern preacher whose car plunged off the road into the Arkansas River when he was a baby. Billy has no memory of his dad and any photos his mother had were lost in a trailer fire before he was old enough to remember them.
Their mail follows them and in the latest batch, Billy gets the surprise of his life. His supposedly dead father has sent him a DVD hidden inside a bible. Billy watches it and discovers his dad was on his deathbed when he made it. This time he really did die. Billy's been left an inheritance, but to keep his mother from intercepting and destroying it, his dad leaves Billy clues and he must travel the country on a geocaching treasure hunt to find it.
This coming of age story is funny and sad, told by a hero who has been loved and betrayed by his mother and by the father who didn't find him.
My original review is on Bookloons.com