The Pool Theory
Kye is your stereotypical fifteen-year old boy, obsessed with appearing cool to his peers and indulging in his burgeoning pubescent hormones. He can’t believe that Claudia, the cutest girl in his English class, seems to like him, and that an impressive guy like Julian would want to hang out with Kye and Kye’s best friend since kindergarten, Anthony, who is awkward at best. Life might not be so bad after all, that is until Kye’s whole world starts unraveling when Annie, a summer-time acquaintance, shows up at his school in the middle of the school day to inform Kye that his pool theory proved incorrect. The “pool theory” for those not aware, is a sex myth that if one has sex in a pool, you can’t get pregnant.
I found this book to be different in several ways. Unlike many books on this subject, this story is told as a first-person narrative from the perspective of Kye, the teen father-to-be, who unlike stereotypes of this character, normally portrayed as uninvolved and disconnected, becomes more attached than one would expect. Through the story, Kye and Annie almost seem to shift places in their respective viewpoints as each tries to cope with what the pregnancy means to them and the impact it has on their lives.
The story does carry messages regarding conception myths, unprotected sex, and choices available to pregnant teens, but it frames these points in the larger context of teen relationships, the way in which these teens cope with their choices, and how they are affected in their circles. The story highlights this approach with the relatively minor role the parents play in the story, in comparison to the main characters and by the focus of the reading guide discussion questions supplied at the end of the book. At first, I was doubtful that the characters would believe in this myth and that they were too young to be dealing with this situation. However, after some research, I was surprised to learn that the pool theory myth is still listed among teen conception myths (stayteen.org/myths). Parents often make the mistake of thinking their children are too young to open discussions on such topics, but this story has taught me that a frank discussion is necessary at a much younger age than I realized, shedding light on a misconception of mine that I hope other similarly minded readers might also be enlightened by.
Overall, I felt the story’s plot and dialogue were realistic and characters interesting. While the open-ended conclusion was slightly disappointing for a brief moment at first, upon further consideration, I think the ending ideal for encouraging engaging discussion.
|Two Pigeons Press
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