Seeing Off the Johns



By: Rene S. Perez II
The Johns are a big deal in this small town, but one day they left town and didnÍt return. On that same day, Concepcion “Chon” Gonzales experienced the first day of his new life.
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Description

The Johns are a big deal in this small town, but one day they left town and didn’t return.

On that same day, Concepcion "Chon" Gonzales experienced the first day of his new life. People in the small town of Greenton mark their lives from that day in late summer when crowds lined the streets to see off high school athletic stars John Robison and John Mijias. That was the day the Johns, as they were known by adoring fans in Greenton, left for state college, and never made it there —or back. The Johns had spent their high school years putting that nowhere losing town on the map with playoff runs in football and state championship bids in baseball. For Concepcion "Chon" Gonzales, the days that the Johns headed out and didn't return was the first day of his new life. He had waited all his growing up years for a shot at Araceli when one of the Johns, John Mejia, stole her away. Now, while Greenton mourns, while the Johns' families become actors in a spectacle of grief, while Johns memorabilia is sold in every gas station and convenience store in town, while Araceli has to endure a senior year in the watchful gaze of the whole town, Chon Gonzales makes his slow methodical move on the only girl he's ever loved, hoping maybe that she won't notice what he wants.

Awards and Accomodations

2016 NACCS Tejas Award for Young Adult Fiction

6 reviews for Seeing Off the Johns

  1. Kirkus Review
    An atmospheric, refreshing read that will resonate with readers from towns both small and large.

  2. BookPage
    This is a searing, mature novel, not just because sexual scenes (which are among the most complex and thoughtful moments in the book) are included, but in the way it handles the innumerable challenges associated with grief and love. With strains of Mexican-American heritage, this is also a fine diverse read.

  3. Booklist
    Though the context of [Rene] Perez’s first novel is Mexican American, Chon’s longings are universal, ones every reader can identify with … the novel achieves its goal of bringing two appealing teens and their relationship to vivid life.

  4. Midwest Book Review
    Seeing Off the Johns is an absolutely absorbing and deftly crafted novel that clearly establishes author Rene Perez as a master of the YA Fiction genre. Very highly recommended for both school and community library YA Fiction collections.

  5. Lone Star Literary Life
    Seeing Off the Johns is briskly and evenly paced. The deceptively simple plot allows the young people to take center stage and everyone who grew up in a small Texas town will recognize these personalities. They are allowed to stretch, to contract, and to mature, and it’s a pleasure to be along for the ride as Chon finds out how brave his heart really is. —Michelle Newby

  6. School Library Journal
    This authentic story of loss is powerful and one that many readers will not forget.

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