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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Education of Queenie McBride - Lyndsey D'Arcangelo

Released July 2012

Lyndsey D'Arcangelo
Publishing Syndicate

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The Education of Queenie McBride takes a close look at a problem plaguing many teens. Queenie is starting her first year of college and not doing well. Used to a life of floating by on her parents' money, Queenie is now responsible for herself. When her professor dares suggest she's insecure, he hits a little closer to home than Queenie wants. Taking a walk along the streets in Boston, she never imagines her life is about to change.

While out walking, Queenie comes across a homeless 14 year old. Pudge lived happily with her parents until she announced she was gay. Kicked out of her home with no where to go, Pudge now survives on the street bouncing from a local shelter to simply sleeping on the streets while begging for change or food. Queenie can't turn her back on this teen and makes a huge effort to help Pudge and bring awareness to the number of homeless teens who were kicked out of their home for "being" gay.

While I have a hard time understanding how any parent can kick their child out of a home for something so trivial, I do know it happens. A high school friend moved miles from his home to live with his aunt and uncle after his parents kicked him out because of his sexual orientation. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, 26% of teens report they were kicked out of their home after coming out, and many shelters are supported by churches, and therefore the teens don't get the support there either. It's a situation more people should be aware of.

In this book, Queenie is forced to grow up quickly. I loved watching her progress from a somewhat bewildered teen to a woman who learns to take control of her life and actions. From beginning to end, the book captured my attention and had me shedding a few tears along the way.

The Education of Queenie McBride isn't a long book. It's just over 100 pages, so it doesn't take much time to read at all. It's the perfect novel for a rainy afternoon or space filler between appointments or chores.

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