Book 17: Also Known As Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcher

Also Known As Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcher is an amusing yet serious Young Adult novel about high school sophomore Bobby Steele, who happens to share a name (and an apartment) with a man with the same name…a man who, in an uncharacteristic fit of rage, abused his wife, causing her to leave him and their two sons behind. For that reason, young Bobby found it quite easy to re-name and re-make himself into the kind of boy who would get accepted to the preppy private school in town, Whitestone Academy. The kind of boy who would get the pretty, leggy, blond girl. The kind of guy that, when faced with bullies, stood up to them.

I adore the character of Bobby/Rowan. He is authentic, he is likeable, he is a bit naive, and he is even scared…but he (almost) always does the right thing. I cannot wait to recommend this book to young readers (as young as 10/11, or as old as a less-mature 17).

One last comment…my coworker pointed out that the novel is dedicated to the incredible YA author Chris Crutcher. Here is the dedication: “For Chris Crutcher, fine writer and friend, who helped me envision this book when it was still a tiny wet thing, rising from the straw on wobbly legs”. We can all use a friend like that…

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