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In Mike We Trust
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book features a series of con jobs where the main character and his uncle bilk people out of their money in the name of bogus charities. Garth is gay and shares a kiss with a boy he likes. Part of the novel is about Garth's struggle to gain his mother's acceptance of his sexual orientation; she wants him to "put it on hold."
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What's the story?
Fifteen-year-old Garth is dealing with his father's recent death, the challenge of being short, his mother's over-protectiveness, and his realization that he is gay. When his footloose Uncle Mike shows up, Garth welcomes his friendship and easy acceptance of his sexuality. Even after Garth realizes his uncle is lying to him and everyone else, he has a hard time breaking free. As the deceptions build, he jeopardizes relationships with all the people he loves, including a new boyfriend.
Is it any good?
Even as Garth's lies pile up in IN MIKE WE TRUST, readers know he's a good guy. Garth's transformation into a willing accomplice is believable -- he is confused after his father's death and figuring out his sexuality -- but the author doesn't excuse it. "I made my own choices," Garth tells his best friend, Lisa.
Mike and Garth's mom are three-dimensional, imperfect characters who both help and hinder Garth's coming-of-age struggles. Whatever their own sexuality, readers will likely identify with Garth's first awkward date and his close, frank friendship with Lisa.