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Discussion Module

Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrathby Steven Goldman

Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrath
b
y Steven Goldman

Publishing Information: Bloomsbury: New York, 2008
ISBN: 9781599902715 / 9781599903934 (PB)
Pages
: 307 p.
Ages: 13 & Up

Summary:
Mitch, a shy and awkward high school junior, negotiates the difficult social situations he encounters, both with girls and with his best friend David, after David reveals to him that he is gay.

Book Talk:
When your younger sister is cooler than you, you’ve got a problem. Mitchell’s younger sister, Cassie, is significantly cooler than he is. He’s a geek. So is his best friend David. They eat lunch together every day with the lower grades because they take an animation course during junior lunch period. Mitchell decides that he doesn’t want to read The Grapes of Wrath and write the required five page paper. Instead, he submits a Claymation project…on a book he never read. The results? Read Two Parties, One Tux…

Meanwhile, junior prom is coming up. Cassie wants Mitchell to ask Amanda, who, she says, likes him. He’s not too thrilled with Amanda, though. Cassie wants David to ask M.C., Cassie’s best friend, who is at Cassie’s house more than her own, it seems. However, David has recently revealed to Mitchell that he (David) is gay. David doesn’t even want to go to the junior prom. Does he take M.C? Read Two Parties, One Tux...

Meanwhile, again, Danielle, who Mitchell has fantasized about since forever, has broken up with her boyfriend, Ryan, and has begun talking to Mitchell. After he drives Danielle and her drunk friend, Nicole, home from a party one night, Danielle decides Mitchell is the one for her. You and I both know when the cutest girl in school begins dating the school geek, something’s afoot. To find out what, read Two Parties, One Tux…

Pieced together from a review by Ed Goldberg (http://www.yabookscentral.com/cfusion/index.cfm?fuseAction=books.review&review_id=14711)

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Dating (Social Customs)
Friendship
Homosexuality
High Schools
Interpersonal Relations

Awards & Reviews:
ALA Rainbow List, 2009
Capital Choice List (Washington, D.C.), 2009
Thumbs Up Award Nominee (Michigan), 2009

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, November 1, 2008
Horn Book, April 1, 2009
Kirkus Review, August 15, 2008
School Library Journal, October 1, 2008 (Starred Review)
Teacher Librarian, June 1, 2009
VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates, October 1, 2008

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. How does David’s admission of homosexuality affect his friendship with Mitchell? How does it affect Mitchell himself?
  2. Imagine that your best friend tells you that he/she is gay. How would you react? How would it affect your relationship?
  3. Is Louis a realistic character? Why or why not? How do you feel about Louis throughout the book? How does he change?
  4. Why did Mitchell turn in the movie instead of reading The Grapes of Wrath and writing a paper? Would you take that kind of academic risk?
  5. Have you read The Grapes of Wrath? How does Mitchell’s movie sound relate to the book? If you have not read the book, what does Mitchell’s movie make you think about the book?
  6. Is the Judicial Board a fair and unbiased group? How would you change the Judicial Board hearing procedure? How does Mitchell’s Judicial Board hearing relate to the disciplinary actions at your school?
  7. How was Mitchell’s relationship with Danielle surprising? How was it not?
  8. Discuss Mitchell’s relationships with girls: his sister - Carrie, MC, Amanda, Danielle. How does Mitchell change because of his relationships with these girls?

Related Websites:
Author’s website: www.stevengoldmanbooks.com
Animate Clay: www.animateclay.com
Claymation Station: library.thinkquest.org/22316/home.html
Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network – www.glsen.org
National Youth Advocacy Coalition - www.nyacyouth.org
Safe Schools Coalition - www.safeschoolscoalition.org
Youth Pride, Inc. - www.youthpride-ri.org
Youth Resource: A Project of Advocates for Youth - www.youthresource.com

Read-a-Likes:
Absolutely, Positively Not by David LaRochelle, 2005
Boy Meets Boy
by David Levitha, 2003
Freak Show
by James St. James, 2007
Getting It
by Alex Sanchez, 2006
Geography Club
by Brent Hartinger (2005 RITBA Nominee)
Hard Love
by Ellen Wittlinger, 1999 (2001 RITBA Nominee)
In Mike We Trust
by Patrick Ryan, 2009
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park
by Steve Kluger (2010 RITBA Nominee)
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, 2007
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Steven Chbosky, 1999
Swim the Fly by Don Calame, 2009
What They Always Tell Us
by Martin Wilson, 2008

Other Books by the Author:
This is the author's debut novel

About the Author:
This is Steven Goldman’s first book. He lives in Jamaica Plain with two sons, two cats and one wife. He has never read The Grapes of Wrath. For more information, visit his website: www.stevengoldmanbooks.com

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