Sprout and his father are eccentric characters in a conservative Kansas town. Like Jake Wizner’s Spanking Shakespeare, this book alternates between Sprout’s writing in preparation for an essay contest, and the story of his life as it unfolds throughout the novel. I am drawn to narrators like Sprout, who are such authentic teenage boys, at once witty and sarcastic and insightful and heart-breaking. Sprout is a complex character who comes to realize that growing up does not always go the way you plan. For those that enjoy an honest and thoughtful coming of age story, Sprout is a worthwhile read.