Headacheslayer's Reviews > A Question of Manhood

A Question of Manhood by Robin Reardon
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May 23, 11

bookshelves: glbt, ya-teens, 2011, animals, history, reviewed, favourite-reads, first-reads, 5-stars
Recommended to Headacheslayer by: First Reads
Recommended for: everyone, High School level
Read from October 27, 2010 to May 23, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

My thanks to First Reads for this book.

What makes a man? In Robin Reardon's novel A Question of Manhood, this theme is a constant, especially for the narrator, 16 year old Paul. Set during the Vietnam War, he feels as though he's always been in the shadow of his older brother Chris, who has just come home for a short leave from the hell of war. Afraid of returning, he admits to Paul that he is gay. Paul must struggle with that secret as much as he struggles to be a man, the way his father wants him to be. It is only when he meets JJ, a new employee at his father's pet supply store, that he begins to understand how to resolve the conflicts in his head and his life.

I absolutely loved this novel. My only regret is that it ended--as much as I enjoyed Paul's emotional journey, I wanted to learn more about JJ. Perhaps Reardon would grace us with a sequel--one can hope.

Everthing about this novel felt real, from the attitudes towards the war and homophobia,to JJ's handling of dogs in need of leadership. Reardon truly reaches out to gay teens in this novel with a strong yet gentle character that nearly overshadows the narrator. Because of this, I feel that this book should be in high school libraries across the country. However I definitely rate this a "must read" for all ages.

I have not yet read Reardon's previous books, but now look forward to them even more.
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Headacheslayer I am excited to get to read/review this for FirstReads!


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