Title: Five, Six, Seven, Nate!
Author: Tim Federle
Pub info: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014; 304 pp
Genre: MG/YA contemporary, ages 10+
For me, this does qualify as a book I've been meaning to read for a while (TBR Book No. 7) because Tim was kind enough to give me an advanced readers' copy at last summer's ALA Conference. (We shared a time slot at the Simon & Schuster booth, but believe me, the fans were all at Tim's table!) If you're interested in this book, I'd recommend you read the first, Better Nate Than Ever, before reading Five, Six. It's not strictly necessary, but it's definitely more fun.
Nate Foster's Broadway dreams are finally coming true. Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical . It's everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child start, cutthroat understudies, and a director who can't even remember Nate's name. Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit's foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a showbiz miracle.
Status: finished 3/7/14
It should come as no shock that I adored Five, Six, Seven, Nate! After all, I fell head over heels for Nate in his first book, Better Nate Than Ever (S&S Books for Young Readers, 2013). This isn't a typical story--how many novels for preteens have you read about a theatrical debut?--and yet it is. The beauty of Tim Federle's story is that he takes ordinary preteen angst issues--a first crush, bullying, trying to fit in, longing to live your dream--and drops them into a world that few readers will have firsthand knowledge of. So the ground is familiar enough for readers to grab hold and say, Yeah, that's me, but new enough to sustain their ever-wavering attention.
And because it's Tim Federle, you can expect Nate's second tale to make you laugh and warm your heart with very real characters. From best friend Libby to pampered Broadway star Jordan, each one will at first bring a nod of recognition and then, like real people do, they'll surprise you. And an added bonus: This book has perhaps the sweetest first kiss I've ever read.
So, yeah. I love Nate. As a mom, I want to adopt him and yank him away from provincial Jankburg, Pennsylvania. (And bring him where? Provincial Shawnee, Kansas?) I can't do that, but I can remember, as we all should, that everyone's dreams are legitimate, and everyone has the right to play them out, whatever their ends. Enjoy this book. You certainly won't forget it.
Tim Federle grew up in San Francisco and Pittsburgh before moving to New York to dance on Broadway. Tim's debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever, was featured on several Best of 2013 lists, including the New York Times Book Review, Slate.com, Amazon.com, and Publishers Weekly. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, Tim's novelty recipe guide, was voted the #1 Cookbook of the Year on Goodreads. Currently Tim is working on a new book series about kids at theater camp.
Visit Tim's website here. He's also active on Twitter, where he's just as funny as he is in real life. You can view a trailer for Five, Six, Seven, Nate! right here.
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