Review Detail

Kids Fiction 741
Pitch Perfect Middle Grade LGBTQ+ Title
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
In 1977, Allie and her mother move from New Jersey to the South. Grieving over the death of her brother in a car accident and the separation and pending divorce of her parents, Allie is relieved when a popular girl, Sam, talks to her on her first day at Daniel Boone Middle School. Allie has a great interest in journalism, and through Sam's connections is given a chance to write for the school newspaper by Webb, the editor. She starts by writing an article about Sam, interviewing her basketball coach and going to her house to meet her family. Settling into their new community, Allie's librarian mother makes the acquaintance of a local female minister as well as Sam's coach... and her roommate. Allie feels that something is different about this relationship, but Sam won't tell her anything when she asks. As Allie continues to write articles, she spends more time with Webb, who has a crush on her. Oddly, Allie feels much happier when she is around Sam, and starts to realize that she has a crush on her friend. Knowing the problems that the coach is starting to face when her sexuality is under scrutiny, Allie is uncomfortable with this, but confides in the minister and her mother about her concerns. Sam is even more concerned, because her parents are very religious, and when she talked to her pastor, she was told that how she felt was a sin. While both girls struggle with their relationships and families, they are helped by concerned adults in their lives so that they can navigate through the social mores prevalent during this time period.
Good Points
While more recent books are mainly concerned with incorporating LGTBQ+ characters in stories that are not necessarily focused on coming out, I realized that even though I've tried very hard to build a diverse collection, my library actually didn't have any coming out titles about lesbians other than Dee's Star-Crossed, although I may purchase Jan Petro-Roy's P.S. I Miss You (3/6/18). Nancy Garden's excellent Annie on My Mind (1982), is dated now, and Young Adult novels don't speak to the middle school experience. While this is not an #ownvoices book, Hitchcock had several sensitivity readers, and the variety of responses to the topics in the book from various characters seem realistic.

The thing that I liked best about the book was that it introduced sensitive issues without putting too many value judgements on them. The was especially evident with Sam's parents involvement in the church. While this attitude is shown as being hard on Sam, there is no outright condemnation of the church, and there is another minister who is portrayed sympathetically. The parents are amicable in their divorce, keeping Allie's well being first in their thoughts. The best bit of information Sam is given is that she needs to stay safe, which was critically important in 1977 when teachers could lose their jobs if the slightest inkling of homosexuality was revealed, but is still good advice to students today. Sam has an ally in her sister, but clearly would not be safe if she continued to bring the topic of her sexuality up with her parents.

The late 1970s were very different from the earlier part of the decade, and Hitchcock manages to accurately portray the social Zeitgeist while throwing in details like a boy wearing a silky shirt with sleeves rolled up and a comb in his back pocket with the handle sticking out. Yes! And I know, because, like Allie and Sam, I was a seventh grader in 1977!

One True Way is a great addition to diverse middle school collections. Add it to Barakiva's One Many Guy, Federle's Better Nate Than Ever, Sayre's Husky, Wittlinger's Saturdays with Hitchock, Gino's George, Hennessey's The Other Boy, Polonsky's Gracefully Grayson, and other books that show different experiences with sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that will make middle school readers more understanding of the challenges faced by the people in the world around them.

My only criticism-- the characters should have been named Lisa and Jenny. Or Pat. Or even Terry, if we wanted a more gender neutral name. I did know a few Allisons, but never knew any Samanthas. My own name was #5 in popularity for my age cohort!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

How to Make Friends with the Dark
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Here is what happens when your mother dies. ...
Girl at Heart
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher, Charlie...
Serious Moonlight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced...
Sway
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school...
Scarlet Epstein Hates it Here
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online...
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with...
The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth...
The Boy Who Dreamt the World
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Adam is living the dream, literally.... There are two...
Colliding Skies
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Since Skye Reilly can remember, she has been looking...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history,...
Dating Nashville
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Becks: How does a straight guy accidentally come out...
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young adult anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday...
I Know When You're Going To Die
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look...
Dog and Rabbit
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A funny, sweet story of unrequited friendship from the creator...
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lena and Campbell aren't friends. ...
Symptoms of a Heartbreak
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her...

Latest Member Reviews

Girl Gone Ghost
 
4.0
"Sonara is haunted by her dead best friend Magnolia, a victim of a local serial killer. Sonara doesn't know how..."
Twisted Saga Collection 1
 
4.0
"Cassie, Marley, Tyler and Eve were great characters with well developed backstories. I enjoyed the story, it did..."
THE GHOST CHRONICLES
 
3.8
"\\Michael Andrews has died in a fiery car accident. He is sentenced to continually walk the earth. Things start to..."
A Mortal Song
 
3.0
"Sora has been raised by the kami in Mt. Fuji and enjoys her life with her parents and her best..."
Kingdom of Embers
 
4.0
"What I Liked: This book is told from Alena’s POV, who is a half vampire, half witch, and her..."
Emerge: The Awakening (Book 1)
 
4.3
"Summary Allie was never really normal. For some reason, everyone seemed to recoil at her touch. Her parent’s job..."
Reap the Shadows (Steel & Stone Book 4)
 
4.7
"I don’t think I’ll ever not love this series. It came out of nowhere, demanded my attention and has kept..."
I Dream of Fire
 
4.3
"The story: Charlie Abbot lives in a dystopian world where “dreamers” are a precious national commodity. Dreamers, you see,..."
A Shade of Vampire 3: A Castle of Sand
 
5.0
"Beware of spoilers in this review, as A Castle of Sand is the third book in Bella Forest’s series, A..."
A Shade of Vampire 2: A Shade of Blood
 
5.0
"Beware of spoilers in this review, as A Shade of Blood is the second book in Bella Forest’s series, A..."
A Shade of Vampire
 
4.8
"I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first sat down to read Bella Forest’s A Shade of Vampire. I..."
A Mortal Song
 
4.8
"A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe The Story: Sora is a Kami, one of the mythical beings who..."
ORDER OF SEVEN
 
4.0
"Order of Seven was an original story with a rich mythology and neck-breaking pace. What I liked This crossover..."
THE GHOST CHRONICLES
 
4.5
"Michael Andrews has everything going for him—basketball scholarship, loving family, beautiful girlfriend, vintage Mustang—on the verge of his high school..."
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
 
5.0
"In the small town of Danville Heights, five teenage boys lived their lives as usual: they went to high school..."
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
 
5.0
"The brotherly bond of five teenage boys is tested when they are exposed to an energy source that heightens their..."
A Raven's Touch
 
3.5
"Justice St. Michaels has a secret. So secret, in fact, she doesn’t even know it. All of that changes when..."
Emerge: The Awakening (Book 1)
 
4.5
"I was hooked from the first page an unwilling to put this book down. Its an innovative and unique story..."
Haeven
 
5.0
"Another great book by this author. The story is wonderful, the characters fun and entertaining. I like that..."
Emerge: The Awakening (Book 1)
 
4.5
"Fifteen-year-old Allie isn't exactly a social butterfly, but then her parents move every few months and for some reason, people..."