One True Way

One True Way

A heartening story of two girls who discover their friendship is something more. But how, among their backward town, will Sam and Allie face what they know is true about themselves? Welcome to Daniel Boone Middle School in the 1970s, where teachers and coaches must hide who they are, and girls who like girls are forced to question their own choices. Presented in the voice...

DownloadRead Online
Title:One True Way
Author:Shannon Hitchcock
Rating:

One True Way Reviews

  • Brittany

    I received this ARC from a local bookseller to write a review.

    This book will be joining my classroom.

    Set in the 1970's in the South, Allie deals with a lot of intense topics for this time period including divorce, the rising power of mega-churches, women's rights and the struggles many homosexual people faced in small, southern towns during this period.

    Through a wit and charm that'll have you forgetting her age, Allie wrestles with what it means to follow her heart and if a person can honestl

    I received this ARC from a local bookseller to write a review.

    This book will be joining my classroom.

    Set in the 1970's in the South, Allie deals with a lot of intense topics for this time period including divorce, the rising power of mega-churches, women's rights and the struggles many homosexual people faced in small, southern towns during this period.

    Through a wit and charm that'll have you forgetting her age, Allie wrestles with what it means to follow her heart and if a person can honestly choose to be gay or straight.

    I'm sure some critics will say the supportive teachers and friends depicted here are unrealistic and many more people would be like Ms. Johnson, but without giving too much away, I believe Hitchcock is teaching young people inclusion and equality through the voices of her characters and she does it so well.

    This feels like a innocent, yet complicated love story mixed with a family drama, and truly, that's the magic formula for kids ages 10-14.

    Fantastic.

  • Andrew

    An essential diverse middle grade read that I adored from start to finish. Allie and Sam become quick best friends, but question themselves when they start to develop crushes on eachother. Others in their small town don't acknowledge that two of the women teachers at their school live together, and most who do say it's wrong. But if that's true, why do Allie and Sam feel so right? Set in the 1970's, this book is not oversimplified for kids, yet maintains the sweetness and innocence of middle sch

    An essential diverse middle grade read that I adored from start to finish. Allie and Sam become quick best friends, but question themselves when they start to develop crushes on eachother. Others in their small town don't acknowledge that two of the women teachers at their school live together, and most who do say it's wrong. But if that's true, why do Allie and Sam feel so right? Set in the 1970's, this book is not oversimplified for kids, yet maintains the sweetness and innocence of middle school crushes.

  • Ms. Yingling

    ARC provided by publisher upon request

    In 1977, Allie and her mother move from New Jersey to the South. Grieving over the death of her brother in a car accident and the separation and pending divorce of her parents, Allie is relieved when a popular girl, Sam, talks to her on her first day at Daniel Boone Middle School. Allie has a great interest in journalism, and through Sam's connections is given a chance to write for the school newspaper by Webb, the editor. She starts by writing an article ab

    ARC provided by publisher upon request

    In 1977, Allie and her mother move from New Jersey to the South. Grieving over the death of her brother in a car accident and the separation and pending divorce of her parents, Allie is relieved when a popular girl, Sam, talks to her on her first day at Daniel Boone Middle School. Allie has a great interest in journalism, and through Sam's connections is given a chance to write for the school newspaper by Webb, the editor. She starts by writing an article about Sam, interviewing her basketball coach and going to her house to meet her family. Settling into their new community, Allie's librarian mother makes the acquaintance of a local female minister as well as Sam's coach... and her roommate. Allie feels that something is different about this relationship, but Sam won't tell her anything when she asks. As Allie continues to write articles, she spends more time with Webb, who has a crush on her. Oddly, Allie feels much happier when she is around Sam, and starts to realize that she has a crush on her friend. Knowing the problems that the coach is starting to face when her sexuality is under scrutiny, Allie is uncomfortable with this, but confides in the minister and her mother about her concerns. Sam is even more concerned, because her parents are very religious, and when she talked to her pastor, she was told that how she felt was a sin. While both girls struggle with their relationships and families, they are helped by concerned adults in their lives so that they can navigate through the social mores prevalent during this time period.

    While more recent books are mainly concerned with incorporating LGTBQ+ characters in stories that are not necessarily focused on coming out, I realized that even though I've tried very hard to build a diverse collection, my library actually didn't have any coming out titles about lesbians other than Dee's Star-Crossed, although I may purchase Jan Petro-Roy's P.S. I Miss You (3/6/18). Nancy Garden's excellent Annie on My Mind (1982), is dated now, and Young Adult novels don't speak to the middle school experience. While this is not an #ownvoices book, Hitchcock had several sensitivity readers, and the variety of responses to the topics in the book from various characters seem realistic.

    The thing that I liked best about the book was that it introduced sensitive issues without putting too many value judgements on them. The was especially evident with Sam's parents involvement in the church. While this attitude is shown as being hard on Sam, there is no outright condemnation of the church, and there is another minister who is portrayed sympathetically. The parents are amicable in their divorce, keeping Allie's well being first in their thoughts. The best bit of information Sam is given is that she needs to stay safe, which was critically important in 1977 when teachers could lose their jobs if the slightest inkling of homosexuality was revealed, but is still good advice to students today. Sam has an ally in her sister, but clearly would not be safe if she continued to bring the topic of her sexuality up with her parents.

    The late 1970s were very different from the earlier part of the decade, and Hitchcock manages to accurately portray the social Zeitgeist while throwing in details like a boy wearing a silky shirt with sleeves rolled up and a comb in his back pocket with the handle sticking out. Yes! And I know, because, like Allie and Sam, I was a seventh grader in 1977!

    One True Way is a great addition to diverse middle school collections. Add it to Barakiva's One Many Guy, Federle's Better Nate Than Ever, Sayre's Husky, Wittlinger's Saturdays with Hitchock, Gino's George, Hennessey's The Other Boy, Polonsky's Gracefully Grayson, and other books that show different experiences with sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that will make middle school readers more understanding of the challenges faced by the people in the world around them.

    My only criticism-- the characters should have been named Lisa and Jenny. Or Pat. Or even Terry, if we wanted a more gender neutral name. I did know a few Allisons, but never knew any Samanthas. My own name was #5 in popularity for my age cohort!

  • Paul  Hankins

    Over the weekend, I got a chance to read Shannon Hitchcock's newest.

    Set in 1977 North Carolina, ONE TRUE WAY tells the story of Allie, a new student to Daniel Boone Middle School. One of the first students she meets is the friendly and widely-connected Sam. Sam sets forth a series of meetings for Allie one of which puts the brand new students on the DB newspaper staff.

    But much of what could be news is carefully kept out of wraps. Away from peering eyes and the pages of the paper. And given the

    Over the weekend, I got a chance to read Shannon Hitchcock's newest.

    Set in 1977 North Carolina, ONE TRUE WAY tells the story of Allie, a new student to Daniel Boone Middle School. One of the first students she meets is the friendly and widely-connected Sam. Sam sets forth a series of meetings for Allie one of which puts the brand new students on the DB newspaper staff.

    But much of what could be news is carefully kept out of wraps. Away from peering eyes and the pages of the paper. And given the time frame, this is most necessary for those involved.

    As Allie and Sam's friendship grows into something that looks like a crush moving toward love, there are questions that must be answered. Allie comes from a family that has been broken by loss. Allie's mother has taken a job as the local librarian which puts her into contact with what will become a support circle around the two protagonist. But, the loss of Allie's brother has made that circle even smaller with a mother who is protective of her daughter while being open to the expressions of love that she observes around her.

    Sam's parents are more fundamental and Sam lives in an environment wherein she hears each and every day what the Bible says about homosexuals.

    As Allie and Sam grow closer, they are pulled into the middle of faith and fidelity. Of the absences of fathers and the teachings of the Father. Hitchcock weaves into her narrative a wonderful and compassionate minister who presents the delicate balance of the teachings of the church and the leanings of the heart. One of the gifts of having read this book is to have made contact with the real-life Reverend Walker and this has been a real blessing. She is a character within the book not to be missed.

    Hitchcock also presents within Allie's father, Mr. Drake, a broken and hurting patriarch who is able to suspend what he needs to heal to address the needs of his daughter's heart to love and to love freely. He is not a character to be missed for his presentation of responsiveness and sensitivity.

    This book is a celebration of teachers as well in the two in the story who coach and befriend the two protagonists. No spoilers, but the treatment of these teachers is a direct allusion to the time period of the story. As an LGBTQ text, ONE TRUE WAY should be appreciated by readers as a comment on how far we have come as a culture. Allie and Sam are coming out just as the country would come into the deeper misunderstandings of homosexuality of the 80's and early 90's. The story is a trip back in time to love in a time of intolerance.

    ONE TRUE WAY is, in my opinion, the TWO BOYS KISSING for middle great readers. With nods to young adult titles like THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, Hitchcock's story should be on the reading radar of those working with younger readers.

  • Richie Partington

    Richie’s Picks: ONE TRUE WAY by Shannon Hitchcock, Scholastic, February 2018, 224p., ISBN: 978-1-338-18172-2

    “There will come a time when everybody who is lonely

    Will be free to sing and dance and love”

    --Frank Zappa, March 1968

    “On Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal law already prohibits anti-gay employment discrimination. Its 10-3 decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express is a landmark victory for gay rights, affirming the growing judicial consensus that sexual orientatio

    Richie’s Picks: ONE TRUE WAY by Shannon Hitchcock, Scholastic, February 2018, 224p., ISBN: 978-1-338-18172-2

    “There will come a time when everybody who is lonely

    Will be free to sing and dance and love”

    --Frank Zappa, March 1968

    “On Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal law already prohibits anti-gay employment discrimination. Its 10-3 decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express is a landmark victory for gay rights, affirming the growing judicial consensus that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes discrimination ‘because of sex.’”

    --Slate, February 2018

    Do you remember your first crush?

    “I was changing in all sorts of ways. The girl who had moved to North Carolina six weeks earlier would have never climbed on a horse’s back. That girl would have been too afraid. I felt like Wonder Woman’s kid sister!

    I leaned against the fence while Sam turned Penny out to pasture. I watched while she closed the gate and walked toward me. Somehow in that moment, I understood why I was jealous of Phoebe and irritated by poor Webb. I knew why I had raced to answer the phone, and why I could hardly wait to see Sam each day. I liked her. I had a crush on her. It was, to borrow a word from Webb...stupendous!

    ‘Why do you look so serious?’ Sam asked.

    I reached into my back pocket and handed her the gold yarn friendship bracelet. ‘I made it out of school colors for you. Phoebe showed me how.’

    Sam slipped it onto her wrist. ‘See? A perfect fit.’

    I reached out and touched her arm just above the bracelet. ‘Do you like Phoebe more than me?’

    ‘I like all my friends.’

    But that wasn’t what I was asking.

    Sam turned and stared directly into my eyes. ‘I don’t like anybody as much as you.’

    My heart hammered so hard I could barely breathe.”

    ONE TRUE WAY takes place during the fall of 1977, back in the Stone Age of LGBTQ rights. It’s narrated by twelve-year-old Allie Drake, whose big brother’s recent death in an auto accident has led to her parent’s breakup and, in turn, to her mother relocating with Allie to North Carolina. There, at Daniel Boone Middle School, Allie meets the popular and athletic Samantha (Sam) Johnson. Sam has known that she’s gay since experiencing a crush in second grade.

    ONE TRUE WAY is framed around a trio of same-sex relationships:

    Allie’s paternal uncle Jeffrey and his male partner, neither of whom we meet, live together up north.

    Coach Murphy and English teacher Miss Holt, we learn, are secretly a lesbian couple.

    And, potentially, Allie and Sam.

    There is plenty of parental tension: Sam’s fundamentalist parents consider homosexuals to be perverts and abominations, and they already suspect the truth about their daughter. Allie’s parents are living a thousand miles apart and Allie is longing for a reconciliation.

    Allie briefly experiments with trying to think and act heterosexual, but it’s clear that she can’t rewire herself to conform. Fortunately for Allie and Sam, there are a lot of enlightened and supportive adults in this otherwise backward, rural, 1970’s town. Unfortunately, two of those supporters are Coach Murphy and Miss Holt who are being forced out of their jobs, having been offered a good recommendation in exchange for going away.

    Interestingly, in doing a bit of research on the subject, I learned that a few months after this story is set, President Jimmy Carter traveled to California and spoke out against the Briggs Initiative, which would have banned gays, lesbians, and anyone who spoke out in favor of gay rights from teaching in California public schools. Fortunately, it failed.

    I can recall, at the end of sixth grade, feeling something special toward a girl for the first time. I’ve often wondered what it was like for my grown-up gay and lesbian friends to first realize that they were attracted to those of the same sex. There aren’t many age-appropriate stories for upper elementary and middle school students that explore this aspect of coming of age.

    It’s fulfilling, in the wake of this week’s landmark judicial decision, to be able to read about the past, know that the law is henceforth on the side of fairness and inclusivity, and recognize that--at least in large swaths of America--middle school kids coming to know themselves today don’t have to face what high school friends of mine faced back in our day.

    Nevertheless, in her Afterword, the author cites a source stating that “‘suicide is the leading cause of death among Gay and Lesbian youth nationally.’” Not only is it essential that young people have the opportunity to see themselves in books like this, but it is important for the rest of us to become enlightened about what they are experiencing.

    Richie Partington, MLIS

    Richie's Picks

    [email protected]

  • Jenni Frencham

    Allie and her mom move to the South after her brother dies in a car accident and her dad separates from her mom. Allie meets Sam at school, and quickly learns that Sam likes girls and that Allie herself also likes girls. But this is 1977, and it's not safe for girls who like girls to advertise this fact. Allie discovers that two of her female teachers are also not just roommates. She and her mom seek advice from their church regarding Allie's sexuality.

    What I Liked: The book reads as a solid mid

    Allie and her mom move to the South after her brother dies in a car accident and her dad separates from her mom. Allie meets Sam at school, and quickly learns that Sam likes girls and that Allie herself also likes girls. But this is 1977, and it's not safe for girls who like girls to advertise this fact. Allie discovers that two of her female teachers are also not just roommates. She and her mom seek advice from their church regarding Allie's sexuality.

    What I Liked: The book reads as a solid middle grade story. It's told in a simple matter. Religion is featured prominently but is not mocked.

    What I Didn't Like: The 1970s setting makes this read more like a memoir for Generation X adults rather than a book for middle grade students. There are so many things that date this story - Allie's use of a typewriter, the mimeographed notes that Sam receives from a friend, even simple things like Allie's choice to change into a dress before dinner. These date markers almost mark this as historical fiction, but the topic itself rates this as a contemporary book. I think it would have been more successful as a memoir aimed at adults rather than a cute middle grade story with an important message hidden in a very dated wrapper.

    Recommended for: adults, really; middle grade

    Red Flags: none

    Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

    Read-Alikes: Annie on My Mind

  • Barbara

    Seventh grader Allison (Allie) Drake has just moved to North Carolina in 1977 with her mother and is attending Daniel Boone Middle School. Her family is fractured due to the death of her older brother Eric, and her parents are separated. Allie is trying to pull her life back together while dealing with her mother's fears and overprotective nature. She quickly finds a place on the school newspaper and gets to know several classmates, aided by the friendly and welcoming Samantha Johnson, a basketb

    Seventh grader Allison (Allie) Drake has just moved to North Carolina in 1977 with her mother and is attending Daniel Boone Middle School. Her family is fractured due to the death of her older brother Eric, and her parents are separated. Allie is trying to pull her life back together while dealing with her mother's fears and overprotective nature. She quickly finds a place on the school newspaper and gets to know several classmates, aided by the friendly and welcoming Samantha Johnson, a basketball star that everyone seems to like. Sam is kind and comfortable in her own skin, and eventually Allie realizes that her friend is gay and that she is attracted to Sam too as more than a friend. But Sam's family is very conservative, and they are members of One True Way, a religious group that has no tolerance for gay individuals. Even while fending off the romantic intentions of Webster, the newspaper editor who has a crush on her, Allie is torn between her true feelings and possibly hurting her mother and the safe path that means hiding her feelings and identity. There were moments in this touching story that made me wince in anticipation of judgmental comments and attitudes, but overall, except for Sam's parents, the therapist and minister that Allie confided in were calm, nonjudgmental, and gave helpful advice. Readers will quickly realize that there is a special relationship between Coach and Miss Holt, and how for the most part, the community looked the other way, but once the Johnsons--or at least Mrs. Johnson--felt threatened by that relationship and how it might impact their daughter, that open secret suddenly jeopardized their livelihood. The book might seem dated by today's standards, but it does offer an important historical perspective on the progress that has been in this arena as well as just how hard it once was/still is to be true to oneself in certain areas. Readers will close the book, certain that there is no one true way to love or to worship, for that matter. This is a solid addition to a collection exploring identity, sexuality, and loss. Being different or embracing one's differences is never easy to do, but these two girls show readers the way. While there is no happy ending and there are still unresolved issues, there is still hope once readers reach the final pages.

  • Laura

    I ordered this book to fill a gap in my classroom library. I first heard about it through Twitter.

    My classroom library does lack in romances. This year I'm teaching 6th grade. At the beginning of the year, the students tend not to be interested in romance. We are now at Spring Break and the students are changing. There's an arising interest in romance. By the end of the year, the majority of my students will be "dating," much to their parents' horror.

    The kid in this story reminds me of my studen

    I ordered this book to fill a gap in my classroom library. I first heard about it through Twitter.

    My classroom library does lack in romances. This year I'm teaching 6th grade. At the beginning of the year, the students tend not to be interested in romance. We are now at Spring Break and the students are changing. There's an arising interest in romance. By the end of the year, the majority of my students will be "dating," much to their parents' horror.

    The kid in this story reminds me of my students. They begin school not much interested in romance. She sounds as innocent as my students. She's had a rough time, as many of them do, with the death of a sibling and the impending divorce of her parents. (Parents' divorces and braces seem almost mandatory for middle school.) Then the magical moment occurs and she becomes interested in romance.

    I connected with the wanting to be a "good girl" and the drawings in the chapter headings. I remember drawing those. Only the flower drawings were missing. I also remember how it felt when I realized that adults were disappointing me because they were so involved in their own pain that they couldn't recognize mine. In other words, despite myself, I connected.

    I'll probably get in trouble when I put this in my classroom library but it's worth it. If I have to carry heterosexual romances, then I have to carry homosexual romances. It's only fair. And this one, I believe, was deftly handled.

  • Hallie

    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book--all opinions are my own.

    One True Way is a middle grade novel set in 1977 about being true to yourself. Allie is a seventh grader trying to deal with her feelings for another girl, moving to a new place, and getting used to her recently separated parents. Allie's recently moved to North Carolina from New Jersey after her brother died in a car accident and her parents decided to live separately.  Allie and her mother find comf

    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book--all opinions are my own.

    One True Way is a middle grade novel set in 1977 about being true to yourself. Allie is a seventh grader trying to deal with her feelings for another girl, moving to a new place, and getting used to her recently separated parents. Allie's recently moved to North Carolina from New Jersey after her brother died in a car accident and her parents decided to live separately.  Allie and her mother find comfort in their new town through church and building friendships. Allie also finds some sense of normalcy again when she meets Sam, an all-star athlete and friend to everyone.  Allie and Sam start to have complicated feelings for each other. Allie hasn't had feelings for another girl before and she's worried about what will happen when people find out. One True Way is a middle school romance about finding the courage to be yourself. 

    This book prominently featured Allie's relationship to her religion in a positive light. Both Allie and her mother seek guidance from the local Methodist minister, Reverend Walker. Allie struggles with her feelings for Sam because she isn't sure how having feelings for another girl fits into her spirituality and Christian religion. Sam's mother, who found out Sam had feelings for another girl in the past, has made it very clear that she thinks homosexuality is unacceptable and a sin. But what does Allie's fairly liberal mother think? Throughout the book, Allie tries to confront her feelings, her religion's teachings on homosexuality, and her mother's perspective. This book carefully and sensitively includes Christianity in a thoughtful discussion on identity. It provides a mirror for gay Christian kids who feel hurt by being left out and sometimes shunned by their religion. Allie finds so much love from her church and her family. The book also positively features counseling, both religious and secular, as a tool for mental health. 

    One True Way also highlights historical information about how homosexuality was perceived in the past. Allie gets advice from a lesbian teacher and her reverend that her and Sam's safety is important to consider before coming out in the 1970s. Sam's home life is not currently conducive to her coming out because her mother is homophobic, while Allie's home life allows her to explore her feelings more. Hitchcock offers many perspectives on religion, safe spaces, and letting yourself blossom. This is an excellent addition to middle school collections.

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.