Tommy Stands Tall (Roosevelt High School Series)
A sequel to Tommy Stands Alone, which was banned in Heritage Middle School in Longmont, Colorado, and was on Norman Lear’s list of banned books.
by Gloria Velasquez
Publication Date: 2013
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 11 and up
Tommy is excited to finally be a senior at Roosevelt High School. There was a time when he thought he’d never graduate, especially after he tried to kill himself to avoid dealing with his sexual orientation. But with the help of his friends, he has accepted who he is, come out to his family and friends and is preparing for college next year.
But when Albert, a new student at Roosevelt High, is beaten so badly he winds up in the emergency room, Tommy can’t help but wonder if he was attacked because he’s gay. Soon, rumors about Albert are reverberating down the school’s hallways, and Tommy fears Albert might seek the same solution he himself did two years before. Tommy visits Ms. Martinez, the counselor who helped him come to terms with his sexuality, who reminds him about his idea to start a Gay Straight Alliance Club at Roosevelt High. Suddenly, he realizes how he can help Albert.
In spite of being busy with school, his job at the local theater and tutoring a young immigrant boy, Tommy finds other students both gay and straight interested in starting a club to raise awareness and seek equality for gay students. But will it really make a difference? Will they be able to modify the school’s anti-discrimination code? And will the group be able to help Albert?
Tommy Stands Tall is the ninth novel in Gloria L. Velasquez’s popular Roosevelt High School series, which features a multiracial group of teenaged students who must individually confront social and cultural issues (such as violence, sexuality and prejudice) that young adults face today. This is the second novel that follows Tommy’s story, which began in Tommy Stands Alone (Pinata Books, 1995).
Click here to listen to an interview with Gloria Velasquez about Tommy Stands Tall.
“This book is admirable for addressing the plight of gay and lesbian teens in Latino communities.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This is a great story about a diverse group of students who decide to take a stand. The lessons about diversity and acceptance are clear. I liked that the characters were culturally and racially diverse and the message is clear and positive. There is a clear need for stories about students of color, particularly Hispanic students, and this series fills that need.”—Washington Young Adult Review Group
“Velasquez has written an engaging story that will help teens, gay and straight, to better understand the consequences of homophobia.”—Booklist on Tommy Stands Alone
“…As an engaging adolescent story about gays and Latinos, this novel will strike a chord…”—MultiCultural Review on Tommy Stands Alone
“The author does a nice job of giving readers a window into the culture and providing some positive role models.”—Booklist on Maya’s Divided World
GLORIA L. VELÁSQUEZ is an award-winning writer of poetry and fiction. She is the author of two poetry collections, I Used to Be a Superwoman (1997) and Xicana on the Run (2006), and the Roosevelt High School Series: Tommy Stands Tall (2013), Rudy’s Memory Walk (2009), Tyrone’s Betrayal (2006), Teen Angel (2003), Ankiza (2000), Rina’s Family Secret (1998), Maya’s Divided World (1995), Tommy Stands Alone (1995), and Juanita Fights the School Board (1994), all from Piñata Books. Velásquez is currently a professor in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.
ATOS Interest Level: Upper Grades
Category: Young Adult
ATOS English: 5.1
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 47862
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