cover image Marco Impossible

Marco Impossible

Hannah Moskowitz. Roaring Brook, $15.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59643-721-0

Stephen is used to “playing sidekick” to his dramatic and openly gay best friend, Marco, even when it means being targeted by bullies. Now that they are graduating from eighth grade, their relationship is straining: not only are the boys going to different high schools next year, but also Stephen is worried by Marco’s apparent indifference to the increasingly dangerous threats around him. All Marco can focus on is sneaking into the high school prom, so he can publicly declare his feelings for a classmate who is playing in the live band at the dance. Though the story unfolds over just two days, readers learn plenty about the boys’ history, including how their fascination with detective work led to the discovery of Stephen’s father’s affair. Readers may find the gravity of the book’s themes, especially the hate crimes directed at Marco, difficult to reconcile with the boys’ hijinks getting into the prom. Still, they will appreciate the fun, if unbelievable, ending that Moskowitz (Zombie Tag) delivers, in which almost all the characters get what they deserve. Ages 10–14. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)