Parents' Guide to


By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Funny, charming prom tale brims with identity positivity.

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Kids say (1):

Veteran author Julie Murphy brings us back to Clover City, Texas, with extra helpings of humor and charm. Fans of Dumplin' and Puddin' will be glad to check in with familiar characters, and both fans and newcomers will enjoy getting to know Waylon, his friends, and family in Pumpkin. Waylon is a complex character full of contradictions, but his believable voice and dreams of something better after high school make him easy to relate to. He's surrounded by colorful characters who offer positive representations of a wide range of body types, skin colors, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

But the story isn't all just laughs and campiness. Waylon's journey toward being true to himself no matter what is also sprinkled with moments of real emotion and tackles serious issues like anti-gay bullying and body image with warmth and grace. To say nothing of the sigh-worthy romance that blossoms right under Waylon's nose. Strong language, descriptions of making out with some detail, and brief risky behavior make it best for teens and up.

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