Growing up male - funny, touching, and as unexpected as life itself!
This collection of finely crafted stories from the acclaimed author of Forgotten Fire zeros in on the moments of comic confusion and tender transformation that make up one boy's wild ride through childhood and adolescence. Whether it's struggling up a godforsaken mountain with other miserable campers, tossing aside all scruples to scramble to the top of the school social heap, searching for the true path to romantic love, or trying to meet the expectations of a father whose high standards seem impossible to live up to - these funny and affecting tales of triumph, humiliation, love, loss, competitive kissing, and laxatives will touch readers and have them laughing out loud as Will, a boy with an overactive imagination, grapples with "what it takes to be a man" and "what kind of man will I become?"
First Serial Seventeen Magazine
Fledgling author Adam Bagdasarian surprisingly follows up his grim, highly lauded first novel Forgotten Fire
with a series of humorous, autobiographical sketches about his childhood and adolescence from ages 5 to 20. Bagdasarian is at his funniest when commenting on the trials and torments of puberty, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. In the title story, sixth-grader "Will" (the thinly disguised author) discovers that French kissing doesn't just happen: "I tried to find a way to kiss her and breathe at the same time, but no matter where I turned my head, her nose was always there." And in "Going Steady" Will realizes that dating a seventh-grade girl is going to require diplomacy when she "handed me a small white stuffed unicorn with silver glitter on its horn ... as though it were a baseball signed by Willie Mays, and I took it as though it were a poison apple." Beyond dating drama, Bagdasarian's teen self also explores the idea of old age and death. In "A Short Life," he melodramatically fantasizes a lump on his head is a tumor and he will probably die before seeing Europe, and in the more serious "My Tutor," he is moved to tears by an aged geometry teacher who can no longer remember, let alone teach, familiar proofs. By turns witty, ridiculous, and poignant (the stories about Bagdasarian's much beloved father are among the more touching pieces) First French Kiss
is a short, sweet collection that teenagers of all ages will read with pleasure and recognition. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert