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Russel Middlebrook Books In Order

Publication Order of Russel Middlebrook Books

Geography Club (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Order of the Poison Oak (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Elephant of Surprise (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Two Thousand Pounds Per Square Inch (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years Books

The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Road to Amazing (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Otto Digmore Difference (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name Russel Middlebrook refers to a series of novels written by Brent Hartinger. The name also refers to the primary protagonist of the books, a young man who struggles to maneuver the complexities of his sexual orientation.

+The Story.

Russel Middlebrook takes center stage in the Russel Middlebrook series. His story begins when he decides to help a friend create the Geography Club, a place that works to provide support for students who feel like outsiders because of their sexual orientation.

The friend in question is called Min, and she convinces Russel that the Geography could provide students like them a place to hang out and be at ease with their sexuality. Russel is himself in a difficult situation at the start of the story.

He doesn’t know what to do with his two best friends. They do not know about his sexuality and he has worked really hard to keep that particular secret away from the two people he trusts the most.

Some people have tried to categorize the books as young adult but they do not always fit into that mold. The novels attempt to explore Russel Middlebrook’s life as a young boy, and then a young man traversing high school.

Brent Hartinger provides glimpses into the manner in which Russel confronts those problems that assault normal boys and girls, and how they might differ in Russel’s case because of his sexuality.

Along his journey, Russel meets numerous people, some of whom share his worries and fears and with whom he works to grow as a person. Russel’s journey is designed to be as relatable as possible, which is why his worries range from struggling to maneuver the dating pool to getting tested for HIV.

And the books are quite comprehensive, picking up Russel’s story in his early teens and following him all the way to his late teens and even the mid-20s. The novels are designed to be a journey, one that readers can take alongside Russel, relating their own struggles to his as he transitions through the different stages of life.

+The Author

Brent Hartinger was born in 1971 in Washington State. The American author is also a playwright and screenwriter, and he boasts a Masters Degree in Psychology which he acquired from Western Washington University.

The author is best known for the Russel Middlebrook series which follow the lives of Gay teens. Hartinger has also written numerous screenplays some of which have been optioned for possible movie adaptations.

For his efforts, the author has won the GLAAD Media award and the Lambda Literary award. He was also nominated for the Edgar Award.

+Russel Middlebrook Adaptations

Geography Club, the first book in the Russel Middlebrook series was adapted into a play by the author Brent Hartinger. However, people are more familiar with the movie adaptation.

Also titled ‘Geography Club’, the movie premiered in 2013 at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Featuring Cameron Deane Stewart, Allie Gonino and Nikki Blonsky to mention but a few, the movie follows a sixteen-year-old boy named Russel who is in a relationship with a football player named Kevin.

However, in order to hide his sexual orientation and to protect Kevin, who is determined to keep his secret from prying eyes, Russel keeps going on dates with girls. Min, on the other hand, is making every effort possible to tell everyone at school that she and Terese are just good friends.

Meanwhile, Ike doesn’t know who he is or what he wants to be. The Geography Club is formed by these disparate individuals in their desperate attempts to find a home within the chaos of their school lives.

+Geography Club

Kevin has a secret and he is determined to keep that secret from his colleagues on the football team, which is why Russel must keep going on dates with girls. Meanwhile, it is becoming harder and harder for Min and Terese to convince everyone that they are just good friends.

This is where the Geography club comes into play. It is a club that no one in their right mind would join, a place where Russel and his friends can find some peace.

This book introduces to readers a cast of characters trying to survive in a world that seems to ridicule and misunderstand them. Brent Hartinger, the author, focuses on making his first book in the Russel Middlebrook series as relatable as possible.

And his writing style suits his purposes because it draws readers into the psyche of the characters, and they are all very likable. The novel isn’t for everyone. While it is very well written, those readers who are opposed to Brent Hartinger’s message in any way are unlikely to enjoy ‘Geography Club’.

And there is definitely a message here. Though, Brent has been commended for crafting a novel that could have been preachy but isn’t.

+The Order of the Poison Oak

Russel Middlebrook is spending his summer working as a counselor at a camp, and his friends are coming along for the ride. There, Russel brings to life a new club designed to help its members appreciate the true wonders of life.

The second book in the Russel Middlebrook series picks up with Russel heading off to Summer Camp with friends Min and Gunnar. The summer camp in question is designed to cater to burn victims.

Russel doesn’t expect much of a challenge. In fact, he is expecting a pretty smooth ride. However, the nine-year-olds he is charged with quickly turn his world upside down.

Russel knows he needs to assert his authority; that is the only way his charges will ever respect him. But he also knows that the children must eventually learn to see him as a friend if they are to open up.

As a result, Russel creates a secret society. The Order of the Poison Oak, while novel, introduces a few unexpected challenges. Outside the issue of his charges, Russel’s life grows complicated in light of his conflict with his best friends.

This book is written to deliver heart and adventure in equal amounts. Fans of the first book in the Russel Middlebrook series are bound to enjoy this novel as well.

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