Booktalking "Tessa Masterson Will Go to the Prom" by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
Tessa and Lucas, friends forever; however, Lucas wants more and Tessa does not. Lucas asked Tessa to go to the prom with him in a dramatic way; Tessa, meanwhile, is infatuated with deli Josie. Tessa's parents own Giant Brookfield Markets "Giant Brooks" grocery store—even in a small town. I guess Tessa's parents had in mind a dress for her when they gave her money for the prom because when she bought a tux, they did not even think it was for her.
She broke the news, then revealed that she would like to ask Josie to the prom. Amidst all of this, Lucas is ignoring her phone calls and texts, all because she "lied" to him (i.e., did not reveal that she is gay). At home, her parents survive on gourmet cheese crackers and whatever other samples that hopeful would-be retailers send them and also whatever deli orders customers forget to pick up.
Tessa is getting used to her identity, which includes not dating guys. When Principal Hartford says that she cannot bring a girl to the prom, Tessa finds out that she would be expelled if she brought a girl to the prom. The small town is enraged that Tessa would try to rock the boat, and protesters harass her at the grocery store with picket signs stating "Hell Welcomes Tessa," throwing bricks through windows and throwing hard candy at Tessa. Protesters want to boycott Giant Brooks.
Tessa's family and friends support her with "Team Tessa" T-shirts, and her parents get her a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union. Then the news media wants to support Giant Brooks because it has a nondiscriminatory working and shopping environment.
I was very excited to see some lesbian fiction in the blog about LGBT Pride Week, since I do not believe that there is much gay female literature in publication. Tessa turned out to be a gem. There are alternating chapters from Tessa and Lucas' perspectives. This is a very good book; I admire Tessa's strong nature; she's willing to fight for her right to have her love go with her to the prom, and she withstands the abuse that the small town community throws upon her because she is gay, for the betterment of the LGBT community. While Tessa may resent being identified as a "cause," she stands up for what she believes in.