In a joint venture, First Book and book bloggers are kicking off First Book Blogger Book Club. I am excited to participate with dozens of other bloggers in this mission to spotlight First Book and the books they offer.
Please check monthly to see my reviews, links for First Book, and announcements about this new project.
First Book is a nonprofit group providing books to children with little or no access to books as a way to tackle the literacy problem locally. Community by community, book by book, child by child. First Book is making a difference!
309 pp. G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Ages 12 and up
Sam is an ordinary 16-year-old kid in London. He skates (that’s skate boarding as he is quick to point out, not figure skating), lives with his mother, enters the dating world, and begins planning his future. Although he’s never been in serious trouble, his life is about to change dramatically. His now ex-girlfriend gives him the news: she’s pregnant! The predictable life of skating, school, and friends is turned upside-down. Sam turns to his hero, Tony Hawk, via the poster image on his wall and the well-read autobiography of his favorite skater. Hawk takes Sam on several glimpses into the future to show him what his life will become.
Through Sam’s eyes, we see his transformation from teen to young adulthood, grappling with all the implications of his decisions. His voice, refreshingly candid, a bit selfish, and often humorous, offers the other side of the pregnancy dilemma, the new teen father. Sam is hit with hard facts: he discovers internet data about teen fathers, experiences elitist attitudes from adults close to him, and begins to question his own abilities to be a good father.
Hornby has given us a tool to discuss some tricky topics with teens. His dialogue is direct, exactly what young adults expect, never condescending or preachy. Some may feel this simple story won’t catch the reader’s attention. However, Hornby brilliantly weaves wit and surprise in such a way that this page-turner will leave readers seeking adults to share this story.
More reviews coming on The Book Club Page