Gr 8 Up -David Levithan's novel (Knopf, 2003) about high school romance is brought to life by more than two dozen actors. Nicholas Robideau provides 15-year-old Paul's narrative voice as the story of friendship, sexual identity, school and family politics, and young love unfolds in mostly-but not completely-lighthearted scenes. The tale is set in a present-day ideal world where gays and cross dressers are accepted and there's no gay bashing, Paul has always known he is gay-and so are many of his friends. His best friend lives a largely closeted life, in fear of his parents' religious intolerance. The school quarterback is a wily transgender youth popularly known as Infinite Darlene. When Paul meets Noah, the attraction is mutual, but Paul's busy and sometimes ambitious social life, coupled with Noah's fear of getting hurt again, temporarily derail the course of true love. Eventually-and after the school bookie has provided all with the opportunity to wager on the outcome-Paul and Noah do get together, and even Joanie, Paul's oldest friend, with whom he's had a miserable falling out, is coming around. A well-conceived bonus at the end of the book's narration gives three of the actors the opportunity to compare their own high school experiences with Paul's.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA[Page 81]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.