When I got Kevin by Paul Kupperberg in the mail, I initially was really excited because I assumed it was a comic book and was like awww yeah pictures! Then I opened it and saw all the words and I literally said out loud “this isn’t a comic book!” I was a tiny bit pissed. You guys, I am a tiny bit of an idiot in case you cannot tell, because it turns out that Kevin by Paul Kupperberg is a neat little story about the first openly gay character in the Archie-verse. I am pretty sure that’s kind of a big deal, then again all I know about Archie is that there is a character named Jughead.
Kevin opens with Kevin Keller helping the Riverdale High gang hang decorations and get ready for prom. He shares that he hasn’t always had a good experience with prom. The group asks why and Kevin begins to recount what happened in middle school back when he lived in a different town and the events of his ill-fated middle school prom. Y’all I did not know middle school had proms! Anyways, Kevin has a group of friends called the Geek Squad. They are all into nerdy pursuits like comic books and get along very well. Timmy, a popular boy, sometimes talks to Kevin and the Geek Squad, but Sammie, this girl that Kevin is friends with suspects Timmy of being a fake friend. Kevin by Paul Kupperberg explores bullying and the difficulty of being in middle school, regardless of sexual orientation.
The main character of this book, Kevin Keller, is the first openly gay kid at Riverdale High, yet in this book he is still in the closet. He is not nearly as popular in middle school as he is in high school – the reasoning being that he has braces, is overweight, and has bad skin. However, he at least has friends. Unlike Luke, a boy who has zero friends who is targeted by the jocks. Kevin deals with Kevin Keller’s struggles between not getting caught in the bullying crosshairs and doing the right thing and standing up for his convictions. Also, Kevin’s friend Sammie begins to like him as more than a friend which creates an awkward situation for Kevin, who just doesn’t seem to have crushes on girls.
I think that I would recommend Paul Kupperberg’s Kevin to fans of Archie who are looking for a deeper story. If, like me, you haven’t really read Archie, then I guess I would recommend it if you are looking for a middle grade book that actually has gay characters and treats the characters with dignity and respect.
Disclosure: Review Copy Via Publisher
Other reviews of Kevin by Paul Kupperberg:
I can’t find any from book blogs, so if you read this, leave your link and I will add it up here!