A Boy Named Queen
Who will be brave enough to make friends with the boy named Queen? Sara Cassidy’s acclaimed novel, A Boy Named Queen, is now available in paperback!
Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos.
How will the class react? How will Evelyn?
Evelyn is an only child with a strict routine and an even stricter mother. And yet in her quiet way she notices things. She notices the way bullies don’t seem to faze Queen. The way he seems to live by his own rules. When it turns out that they take the same route home from school, Evelyn and Queen become friends, even if she finds Queen irritating at times. Why doesn’t he just shut up and stop attracting so much attention to himself.
Yet Queen is the most interesting person she has ever met. So when she receives a last-minute invitation to his birthday party, she knows she must somehow persuade her mother to let her go, even if Queen’s world upends everything her mother considers appropriate.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
In this brisk, insightful story from Cassidy (Not for Sale), the first days of fifth grade prove eye-opening and confidence-building for heroine Evelyn, whose home life is on the strict and staid side. Change is in the air from the outset: during Evelyn's annual end-of-summer trip to the shoe store with her mother, they discover that the local institution has been replaced by a fluorescent-lit emporium called Budget Shoes; Evelyn winds up with a pair of canvas shoes instead of the "stiff leather loafers... that have dug at her ankles every year since kindergarten." At school, there's another new arrival, Queen, who shows up with a pink T-shirt, a dog named Patti Smith, and a name that makes him an instant target for jokes. Queen's breezy self-confidence is revelatory for Evelyn, as is her introduction to Queen's free-spirited parents ("Evelyn realizes she has never touched someone with tattoos. She's never touched a tattoo!"). It's an eloquent celebration of individuality and not hiding one's true self: something that (as Evelyn knows) isn't always simple, but (as Queen knows) actually can be. Ages 8 11.
Too much detail that people won’t understand