Reardon's latest is mesmerizing, drawing readers into Ethan from page one, endowing him and all the characters with great depth, and building a slow-burning tension.
Publishers Weekly
June 27, 2011

Reardon has the special ability to understand her male teenage characters as if she were one of them. The writing is insightful, natural and affecting.
-- Johnny Diaz
Author of Take the Lead

Richly woven story... religion, science, and education all come to bear as Ethan explores his sexuality, his belief system, and his relationships.
-- The Reverend Reid D. Farrell
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Won five categories in the 2011 Rainbow Awards

Won 2012 ALA Rainbow List designation


The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Ethan Poe, sixteen and gay, struggles for balance while his life conspires to pull him in many different directions. His parents are divorcing; his older brother Kyle is damaging his right hand in the name of purity; his best friend is a Jesus freak who prays for him to be straight; he’s desperate to get his driver’s licnese, but he can’t seem to get enough supervised driving time. He’s just starting to see light in the form of Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does, when his rural Maine town begins to explode around him. Against his intentions he gets pulled into a pitched and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Friendships end, families are torn apart, and the school becomes a battleground.

At the center of the fray is Etta Greenleaf, an older woman who has come out of relative seclusion to run for an open school board seat against the ID proponent. Ethan’s developing friendship with Etta and her fearsome dog is ironically both a haven from the vortex and the unavoidable path deeper into it.

Always seeking elusive balance, Ethan finds his way through a maze of lost friends, new love, and the mysteries of tattoos and power animals, with help from quarters where he never expected to find it. And he gains something better than balance.

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Digging Deeper

For educators or anyone else interested in the topics introduced in this story, you can read the background information provided, which covers the following:

  • Homosexuality
  • Evolution vs. Intelligent Design
  • Shamanism and Power Animals

Please note that this information contains spoilers for anyone who has not yet read the book.