aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

The House of Tomorrow: a wonderful adult book that could easily be a YA

I devoured Peter Bognanni's The House of Tomorrow. It literally made me both cry and laugh out loud [full disclosure: not all at once.] {Full disclosure #2: I actually heard Buckminster Fuller speak when I was in college and he was in his 80s. To be honest, about all I remember is that he seemed really, really old. And that he had a lot of acolytes.]

Sixteen-year-old Sebastian Prendergrast lives with his grandmother in central Iowa in a geodesic dome. She homeschools him, and he has little contact with the outside world except for people who tour “The House of Tomorrow.”

Nana once worked with Buckminster Fuller, and he was the great love of her life. She believes that she is raising Sebastian to change the world according to Bucky’s vision

As you can imagine, Sebastian is not like other teens. He’s kind of like a cross between an elderly adult and a robot. But everything changes when a local mom drags her reluctant teen, Jared, to tour the house. During the tour, Nana has a stroke.

Jared’s family tries to help Sebastian, and he finds himself thrust into a bewildering world beyond his ken. Prickly Jared - who dresses all in black, chain smokes, swears, and loves punk rock - is a mystery to Sebastian. And then there’s Jared’s even more mysterious - and alluring - sister.

You’ve got to read this book because it is funny, poignant and has a great, great voice. I'm not sure why it was published as an adult book instead of a YA. Perhaps it was the length, the swears, and a few racy scenes with Jared’s sister. But whether you are an adult, a teen, or an adult who likes to read books about teens, you have to read this book.

Any YALSA librarians out there? Because I think this would be a perfect fit for The Alex Award.

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