Books & More from the Teen Scene

Book reviews and other reflections from one of Oregon's young adult librarians

“Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom” by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin November 17, 2012

Filed under: Fiction,GLBTQ,Realistic,Young Adult — hilariouslibrarian @ 8:37 am
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Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom cover

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The Facts

257 pages; published March 2012

The Basics

Alternating chapters tell the story of Tessa Masterson – a small-town girl who wants to take her girlfriend to prom – and Luke – Tessa’s best friend who is rebuffed and learns the truth about Tessa’s sexuality when he opens his heart and invites her to be his prom date. Tessa sets off an unprecedented community controversy as anti-gay forces go on the attack.


Tessa Masterson was just another senior in high school. Like most of the kids in her class. she wanted to go to prom. But when her best-friend-since-they-were-kids, Luke, asks her to go with him, the truth tumbles out. Tessa can’t accept his invitation because she doesn’t feel “that way” about Luke or any other boy. She wants to go to prom – with her girlfriend, both wearing tuxedos.

The firestorm that follows would be comical if it weren’t based on a true story – an anti-gay boycott of her parents’ hometown grocery story, a media frenzy, protests to the school board, attacks on the Masterson home. The most carefully explored journey, however, is Luke’s. First, he deals with a sense of betrayal and disappointment because his friend kept such a big secret from him. Then, he has to decide what to do about it.

Best Quote that Seems to Sum Things Up in Very Few Words

“I don’t think this girl is going to turn anybody gay. Let her dance, for Chrissake.”


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