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Popular high-school senior John has a secret: He loves books. But he’s afraid to tell anyone for fear it’ll ruin his “angry-cool” reputation. When his mother remarries, John is suddenly step-sibling with Lexie, an honor student who couldn’t be more his opposite. Their many differences—from their upbringing and skin color to musical interests and friends—lead each to make flawed assumptions about the other. But when John and Lexie least expect it, they discover the old adage “never judge a book by its cover” still rings true. Mixing powerful storytelling and contemporary music with stand-up comedy “rants” about culture and society inspired by such literary classics as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Invisible Man and Brave New World, this imaginative new work asserts that if you look beneath the surface, you’ll see that the world is what YOU make it…and the time to start creating it is NOW. Commissioned by and premiered at The Kennedy Center. Standards based high-school classroom materials focusing on the analysis of hip-hop lyrics to “provide students with a greater understanding of rythym, form, diction and sound in poetry,” which include activities, readings, and links to related lesson plans and websites, are available from the National Arts and Education Network (ArtsEdge), a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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