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Deacon Locke Went to Prom
Cover of Deacon Locke Went to Prom
Deacon Locke Went to Prom
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The love life of an awkward teen takes an unforgettable turn after he brings his grandmother to prom in this funny, offbeat, and smile-inducing contemporary romance that is pitch perfect for fans of Jesse Andrews and Robyn Schneider.

Promposals are taking over Deacon Locke's high school and there is no place left to hide. But even with graduation looming, shy and unusually tall Deacon doesn't think he can get up the nerve to ask anyone to the dance. Especially given all the theatrics.

It isn't until Deacon confides in his witty and outgoing best friend Jean that he realizes should could be a great person to take. Only problem is Jean isn't your typical prom date. She's older. A lot older. And she's Deacon's grandmother.

But when Deacon meets Soraya—a girl unlike any other he's ever met—he fears he has totally squandered his chances of having a prom he'll never forget. Deacon couldn't be more wrong. About everything.

Deacon Locke Went to Prom is award-winning author Brian Katcher's fifth novel.

The love life of an awkward teen takes an unforgettable turn after he brings his grandmother to prom in this funny, offbeat, and smile-inducing contemporary romance that is pitch perfect for fans of Jesse Andrews and Robyn Schneider.

Promposals are taking over Deacon Locke's high school and there is no place left to hide. But even with graduation looming, shy and unusually tall Deacon doesn't think he can get up the nerve to ask anyone to the dance. Especially given all the theatrics.

It isn't until Deacon confides in his witty and outgoing best friend Jean that he realizes should could be a great person to take. Only problem is Jean isn't your typical prom date. She's older. A lot older. And she's Deacon's grandmother.

But when Deacon meets Soraya—a girl unlike any other he's ever met—he fears he has totally squandered his chances of having a prom he'll never forget. Deacon couldn't be more wrong. About everything.

Deacon Locke Went to Prom is award-winning author Brian Katcher's fifth novel.

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About the Author-
  • Brian Katcher is the author of the Stonewall Book Award-winning novel Almost Perfect, Playing with Matches, and Everyone Dies in the End. He lives in central Missouri with his wife, Sandra, and his daughter, Sophie. When he's not writing, he's working as a school librarian and a member of the Forever Young Adult blogging group.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 15, 2017
    Title aside, Katcher’s multifaceted novel is about more than a school dance, delving into discrimination, dementia, and the perils of online fame. Deacon Locke, who has never gone on a date or been kissed, waits too long to ask out potential prom dates, so he opts to take Jean, his grandmother and primary parental figure, since she missed her own prom decades ago. Deacon’s classmates find his decision adorable, and video clips of him and Jean dancing at prom go viral. Meanwhile, Deacon summons the courage to ask out Soraya, a Muslim dance instructor he meets while taking lessons with Jean, and soon has his first girlfriend. Amid the level of small-time celebrity Deacon achieves because of the video (including agreeing to participate in a Dancing with the Stars–type show after graduation), Katcher (The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak) explores the pitfalls of Internet notoriety and the vicious, sometimes racist commentary that can come with it—with Soraya caught in the crossfire. Although the story looks directly at some of humanity’s uglier tendencies, Deacon’s entertaining commentary keeps the overall tone thoughtful, upbeat and hopeful. Ages 13–up.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2017
    Deacon's decision to take his grandmother to his senior prom results in unexpected fame.Since his father abandoned him at 16, Deacon's caretaker grandmother, Jean, has become his best friend. So when Deacon finds the required elaborate -promposals- too intimidating and realizes Jean missed her own prom, he invites her instead. Jean's insistence on dance lessons is a ploy to set Deacon up with the instructor, Soraya, a young woman with -a medium complexion- whom the white boy describes as -standing out from the typical pasty-faced Arkansan.- Soraya's a senior at the local Islamic school, which she attends to honor her Lebanese heritage. Though romance slowly develops, Deacon still takes spunky Jean to the dance. Soon a video of their dancing goes viral. Deacon gets mostly positive social media feedback, but the attention also strains his relationship with Soraya, who becomes the target of some racially charged online bullying. The complications come thick and fast, but they wrap up extraordinarily quickly in the last 25 pages, as Deacon finds his way back to the people who matter most to him. Deacon's present-tense narration reveals a kind and likable protagonist. A sweet though sometimes obvious lesson on staying true to oneself. (Fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2017

    Gr 8 Up-When Deacon Locke can't find a date for the senior prom, he decides to invite his grandmother Jean, who missed her own prom because her date (Deacon's grandfather) was serving in the Vietnam War. Deacon has never been able to depend on his fly-by-night father, and his mother isn't in the picture: Jean, with whom he has been living for the past two years, has been the sole rock in his life. When a video of the unlikely couple dancing at the prom goes viral, awkward, loner Deacon experiences his first taste of popularity. As he looks toward the future, he grapples with his newfound celebrity; pursues a relationship with his dance instructor, Soraya; and realizes that Jean may be dealing with dementia. While Deacon occasionally comes off as insensitive when it comes to race and gender ("The non-politically-correct part of my mind wonders if [Soraya] has an exotic accent"), he grows and develops as he learns of the bigotry that Soraya, who is Muslim, has confronted. The plot is somewhat predictable in places (Soraya and Deacon's relationship is temporarily derailed when another suitor asks Soraya out right before Deacon can), and characterizations are a little thin. However, Deacon's wryly self-deprecating voice will resonate with readers, and Katcher's commentary on Internet fame rings true. Teens will enjoy this light but touching tale of maturation.

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Elizabeth Eulberg, author of BETTER OFF FRIENDS "Deacon Locke Went to Prom had me shimmying with delight. A wonderful and surprisingly poignant story about family, friends, and finding yourself."
  • Bret Hartinger, author of THE GEOGRAPHY CLUB and THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE "Part comedy of errors, part coming of age, this novel is so funny and touching I can't imagine anyone reading it without a huge smile on their face."
  • Holly Schindler, author of SPARK "Only a character like Deacon could teach us that grandmothers make the best friends (and prom dates), that stars in the sky shine far brighter than pseudo-celebs, and that the most beautiful dances are the ones we improvise along the way."
  • Anthony John, author of THOU SHALL NOT ROAD TRIP "An outstanding feel-good story. Brims with humor, heart, and hope."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A sweet lesson on staying true to oneself."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "Deacon is a likeable narrator, full of self-deprecating humor."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "There is something very sweet and nerdy about the entire premise of the story, where the upside-down rules of cosplay and gaming conventions like Washingcon allow the outsiders to be heroes."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Fans of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist will find con-tentment here."
  • School Library Journal "A zany romantic comedy for pop culture geeks and 'Con' enthusiasts."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "A nerd-friendly adventure story with a gooey, sweet romance center."
  • Publishers Weekly "Katcher's multifaceted novel is about more than a school dance, delving into discrimination, dementia, and the perils of online fame... Deacon's entertaining commentary keeps the overall tone thoughtful, upbeat and hopeful."
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