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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442445009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442445000
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The title notwithstanding, it takes 95 eventful minutes between 11:41 a.m. and 1:16 p.m. for nerdy middle-school math whiz Sam to experience the terror of knowing that he is going to get his butt kicked by former best buddy Morgan; possibly acquire a girlfriend; be clobbered by a salad bowl during a massive food fight; and then actually get his butt kicked after joining a chaotic science-lab evacuation due to arson. Along with making protracted fun of clueless teachers, school lunches, and other traditional targets, the story chronicles the dissolution of a long childhood friendship due to diverging interests and abilities. Sam fills in the background history and grudgingly reveals that the widening rift is at least as much his fault as it is Morgan’s. This portrays a common preadolescent life change with fair insight; readers will enjoy the general tumult and perhaps find reassurance in seeing that, by the end, Sam and Morgan have so thoroughly gone their separate ways that even their enmity has vanished. Grades 5-8, --John Peters

Review

"Funny, fast-paced, and quite poignant, 33 Minutes beautifully captures one of the greatest heartbreaks of middle school: the end of a friendship." --R.J. Palacio, New York Times bestselling author of Wonder

"Readers will be rooting for Sam Lewis from minute one . . . Humorous and thoughtful, 33 Minutes will keep young readers turning pages right to the end." --Ingrid Law, Newbery honor winning author of Savvy

"33 Minutes is a rollicking and heartfelt adventure as math whiz Sam Lewis tries to avoid being pummeled by his ex best friend. Come for the fun. Stay for the Tater Tots." (Evan Kuhlman)

"33 Minutes is clever and true." --Amy Ignatow, author of The Popularity Papers

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I had a chance to read 33 Minutes over the weekend.
Eric J. Segal
His short stories, fiction, and now this one for younger readers are brilliantly written, witty, and sharp.
Zohar P. Gorman
R.J. Palacio, writer of bestseller Wonder, says, "Funny, fast-paced and quite poignant" (book cover).
pamelathompsonblogger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Segal on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Caveat: I know the author of this book, and the following is a note I sent him. It's an honest response, and you can decide if it's useful. -Eric

Dear Todd:

Fact: you have received a lot of emails that reprise the Fact/Opinion theme of 33 Minutes.
Fact: this is pretty lame.
Opinion: you secretly enjoy it.

I had a chance to read 33 Minutes over the weekend. I wish my son [he's three now] were old enough to read it, but I dread when he is old enough to relate to the indignities of middle school. I laughed throughout the book, but was touched by the inevitable poignant theme of loss that really materializes around Alien Wars (of all things), and finally sets in with the concluding word.

Thank you for a funny, thoughtful and warm book, which ought to fall into the hands of school kids everywhere, as a salve, comfort and compensation for growing up.

-Eric
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel A. Shere on January 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Hasak-Lowy somehow manages to make 33 Minutes such a fun, entertaining read that you won't realize how much you've been moved until the end. I love this book and can't wait to share it with my 10 year-old son!
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Format: Hardcover
33 Minutes
by Todd Hask-Lowy
Aladdin
2013
210 pages

Funny, heartfelt, clever, poignant, and zany with the most awesome cafeteria food fight in literary history, 33 Minutes will entertain and enthrall readers. Sam Lewis (Lew) is a uber-smart math nerd who knows all the answers to all the questions in every class and uses his razor sharp wit to keep the class in stitches. His teachers barely tolerate his ramblings, but do so only because what Sam says is usually genius quality.

In exactly 33 minutes, his ex-best friend Morgan Sturtz has promised to kick his butt. Sam worries about this as Morgan is at least 40 pounds heavier than he is and twice his size. Morgan is as good at sports as Sam is at math equations.

When Sam thinks about getting his butt kicked, he says, "Because if you know someone was going to kick you some place, would you not hope for that place to be your butt? The butt is, after all, the most paddded location anywhere on your entire body."

A food fight of epic proportions saves the day until Sam is whacked over the head with a salad bowl and loses consciousness. He visits the nurse's office and then the principal's. Sam is thinking of immigrating to Canada or changing his name, but realizes that Canadian immigration laws are very tough.

Sam wonders if he does get beat up and gets a black eye, would Amy (a smart girl he's crushing on) hold a cold steak to his bruised eye? But he says, "Too bad she's a vegetarian. Could tofu work like steak when it comes to black eyes?"

Sam remembers last year when he and Morgan played Alien Wars for nine hours straight. They were the best team in Alien Wars history, eating three pizzas, two bags of Cheetos and drinking four liter bottles of Mr.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Hasak-Lowy has such a wry voice, which works wonderfully for the character of the Sam, the preternaturally smart middle grader who is the protagonist of the book. I found myself laughing out loud often at the observations and language Hasak-Lowy uses, yet he keeps it grounded in real feeling and the pain that comes from growing up and apart. Like so many young adult novels lately, this novel is great for adults, also. I highly recommend this book for all who are looking for a hilarious, meaningful read.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me first say that 33 Minutes is a fantastic book.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author writes down to his/her audience. When I say this, I don't mean writing for a younger audience, what I mean by this is purposeful writing a weaker plot, more anemic characters, and generally writing a lower quality book, all because it is for a younger audience.

Luckily, this is not such a book.

As the story unfolds Sam reveals more and more of the back-story through contemplation, concussions, and guilt. Through these mediums author, Todd Hasak-Lowy, does a fantastic job blurring the lines between who is actually at fault between Sam and Morgan. Making this YA book both realistic and engaging. Of course, without giving anything away, I was utterly shocked with how skillfully the final chapters were crafted. I would recommend this book on its ending alone because of this.

Luckily that's not the only great thing about 33 Minutes though. I was also really impressed with how full and realistic Hasak-Lowy made Sam and Morgan. Everything from their feelings of guilt, resentment, and jealousy, to their actions that lead to the fight, to the fight itself and its aftermath all speak of a master craftsman in Hasak-Lowy's writing ability.

All in all I highly recommend 33 Minutes. It's well written, full of realistic likable characters, and moves at a good pace. Of course, don't be dissuaded by the fact that there are illustrations or the fact that this is YA, 33 Minutes is great for readers of all ages.

[...]
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