After falling off the wagon and becoming what he so clearly and strongly resisted--a consumer--Josh Swensen (aka Larry) finds himself in a hyper-paranoid state of no return. That is, until he's kidnapped and coaxed into resurfacing as his old persona. Before long, Larry is back on the scene with much more on his mind than a gospel Web site--this time Larry wants to affect change in government. What starts out as a campaign to get the younger population to vote turns into a run for the presidency. Can Larry really take on George Bush?
In this very smart, very witty novel, Janet Tashjian brings the political world to the forefront and explores it from many different points of view.
Vote for Larry
Beth told me later that what we had done didn't change anything, that we had important work to do, that she was serious about Simon . . . blah, blah, blah.
But everything changed.
I don't want you to think I reverted to some dopey guy following Beth around like a puppy. I was cool, gave her a boost up out of the hole after the rain stopped, waved goodbye with a smile.
You know when you finally do something you've been obsessed with for years, and somehow afterward it feels anticlimactic, not worthy of all the hype?
This wasn't one of those times.
The term "slow-motion" doesn't begin to describe the care I took in playing back my afternoon with Beth. Her kissing my chest, my muddy hands pulling her toward me, the sky opening up and pouring down on us afterward.
It was messy.
It was beautiful.
It ruined my vision quest.
I went home and ate a three-egg omelet with half a jar of salsa, then took the longest, hottest ...
It's not as good a book as 'The Gospel According to Larry' and because Tashjian chose to place the characters in the middle of the 2004 USA Presidential Election, elements of the book already appear not so much dated as slightly out of kilter - because the political front runners of the book aren't the front-runners of the election at this time. However...Tashjian (through the voice of Josh/Larry and his friends) raises many issues about the US political system, which teenagers may find themselves thinking about for the first time, and the comprehensive list of resources in the back of the book will give them the tools they need to learn more.
If you liked Vote For Larry, try these:
"You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defier of the SS and the Nazis all at once. One's first steps are always small: I had begun by hiding food under a fence." An amazing, courageous, uplifting autobiography about a brave teenager who was not afraid to get involved.
A poignant collection of original pieces selected from more than eight hundred contributions, Ophelia Speaks culls writings from the hearts of girls nationwide, of various races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
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