Once again, the author of the critically acclaimed novel for young adults, The Blue Lawn, has crafted a superbly realized portrait of young men on the brink of adulthood.
Popular students Paul Carter and Adrian Vanderlaar enter their senior year full of the confidence and reckless bravado of boys sure of their place in the pecking order of high school. But Adrian drinks too much one night, and in a gruesome accident he is paralyzed and his girlfriend, Lauren, is killed.
The outpouring of grief in their school starkly contrasts with a decidedly more muted reaction to the gay-bashing murder of another fellow student, which the school administration uses as a cautionary lesson for the student body. Speaking out in defense of the murdered boy puts Paul on the outs with his classmates and ultimately causes Paul's abusive fundamentalist father to kick him out of the family home.
Paul's confusion as he tries to make his way in the creative world with the help of a local artist and Adrian's struggle upon returning to school play out artfully against the backdrop of the boys' senior year, Adrian's upcoming trial for manslaughter, and Paul's growing awareness of his sexuality. Brimming with emotion, humor, and humanity, and bravely unsentimental in its treatment of both young men, Pebble in a Pool is a complex yet sparely written account of actions, reactions, and consequences.
William Taylor is the author of The Blue Lawn and Jerome. The Blue Lawn was selected for the prestigious New York Public Library's Books for the Teenage List and was a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award. Taylor is also the author of Agnes the Sheep, Knitwits, and Paradise Lane. He lives and writes in New Zealand.