From Amazon: When Sprout and his father move from Long Island to the midst of rural 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, Sprout realises that Kansas is not quite as empty as he thought it was going to be.
Sprout is a fantastic character, and I thoroughly enjoyed being in his head. He's kooky and intelligent, and possesses a maturity not usually seen in a 16-year-old. Through essays written for a school competition, Sprout delves into his life and relationships, and takes us along for the ride.
Sprout's sexuality isn't the be all and end all of this book, it's just a small part of an extremely complex character. Hiding behind his green hair and less than perfect home life, Sprout sets out to fit in within the walls of a school where he feels he doesn't really belong. He has friends, yes, but no-one besides Ruthie really gets him, until he meets Ty.
I found Sprout's relationship with Ty quite strange at first, but I soon came to love it. It's an eye-opener for both characters, and helps them to realise there is always a silver lining to every situation. It's a nice change to have a male narrator, especially one as open and honest as Sprout. I liked his observations and attitude to life, and how he dealt with the obstacles he faced.
Sprout is a coming of age story about a boy who thought life had nothing to offer him. It's a positive portrayal of homosexuality, and approaches the subject realistically. I can't wait to see what Dale Peck writes next, and I hope we'll see more of Sprout in the future. He's definitely worth reading about, and I hope his story can encourage people to be themselves, and not hide behind an appearance or persona.