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Better Nate Than Ever Hardcover – February 5, 2013


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Best Children's Books
This title has been selected by the Amazon editors as one of the Best Children's Books of 2013 for Ages 9-12.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442446897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442446892
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Irrepressible 13-year-old Nate Foster is certain that stardom awaits, as soon as he can leave his stifling life in small-town Jankburg, Pennsylvania, behind. Using his ever-loyal best friend, Libby, as an alibi, he sneaks away to New York City to audition for E.T.: The Musical. Nate and Libby have an endearing habit of using the names of Broadway flops as stand-ins for foul language. A madcap adventure featuring bossy receptionists, cutthroat fellow performers, and wacky casting directors follows. With the help of an understanding aunt, Nate remains goofy and upbeat in the face of constant criticism and rejection. A fun and suspenseful ending will leave readers guessing whether Nate scores the part or not. Federle's semiautobiographical debut explores weighty issues such as sibling rivalry, bullying, religious parents, and gay or questioning teens with a remarkably lighthearted and humorous touch totally appropriate for young audiences.-Madigan McGillicuddy, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Atlanta, GAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this funny and insightful story, the dreams of many a small-town, theater-loving boy are reflected in the starry eyes of eighth-grader Nate. When Nate hops a Greyhound bus to travel across Pennsylvania to try out for the Broadway-bound musical based on the movie E.T., no one but his best friend, Libby, knows about it; not his athletic brother, religious father, or unhappy mother. Self-reliant, almost to an inauthentic fault, he arrives in Manhattan for the first time and finds his way into the audition with dramatic results, and when his estranged actress/waitress aunt suddenly appears, a troubled family history and a useful subplot surface. Nate’s emerging sexuality is tactfully addressed in an age-appropriate manner throughout, particularly in his wonderment at the differences between his hometown and N.Y.C., “a world where guys . . . can dance next to other guys who probably liked Phantom of the Opera and not get threatened or assaulted.” This talented first-time author has made the classic Chorus Line theme modern and bright for the Glee generation. Grades 5-8, --Andrew Medlar

More About the Author

Tim Federle grew up in San Francisco and Pittsburgh before moving to New York to dance on Broadway, where he appeared in the original casts of THE LITTLE MERMAID and GYPSY before coaching the child stars of BILLY ELLIOT. Tim's debut novel for kids, BETTER NATE THAN EVER -- described as "Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens" by Huffington Post -- was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013, a Slate.com Favorite Book of the Year, an Amazon Best Book of 2013, and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2013 and Flying Start.

TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD: COCKTAILS WITH A LITERARY TWIST, Tim's novelty recipe guide, was voted the #1 Cookbook of the Year on Goodreads.

Learn about Tim's new novel, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE!, and say hi at timfederle.com and on Twitter @TimFederle.

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Customer Reviews

I read this book in two sittings.
Christopher Gurr
It was a great read - hilarious, refreshing, well written, hilarious, heartwarming, and witty.
kjones
These books are a great read for any age.
John Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Valerie A. Baute on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have to start by saying that I loved this book. It was adorable, fun, and heartwarming. It was also neat to experience the first trip to New York with Nate. He grew a lot on his trip, and I loved seeing that growth. He was naive yet quick, funny yet real. Overall, just flat out wonderful.

Now, I work in a public library. We started with this book down in the children's department. Amazon says ages 9+. I cannot think of any 9 year old that I could possibly give this book to. Honestly, I can't think of any child I would give this book to at all. Nate is definitely showing signs that he wants to be with boys, but he is only 13 and hasn't made that decision yet. There is nothing wrong with that to me. To some parents, they might not feel the same way, or they might just not be ready to discuss that with their children. I wouldn't want to be the person that handed this book to a parent that wasn't ready for their child to read about it. Also, they use a word that starts with "f" and is a derogatory term for homosexual person. (Amazon won't let me say the word in my review, yet it appears many times in a book for children ages 9+???) Again, something many parents don't want their children introduced to. So there is a chance I could find a parent to discuss this with, and they could give it to their child fully prepared for discussion afterward. Unfortunately, I fear that most kids will see the cover and pick it up because it's cute, and these kids very well could have parents that don't want that discussion.

We decided to move this up to the teen section. It is a pretty juvenile story, but I'm hoping some 13 or 14 year old kids who love theater will pick this up and fall in love with it. Also, it might find an audience in people questioning their sexual preferences.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Twin2SF on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fabulous book. As an educator, I am always looking for good books, filled with adventure, depth, humor, "morals" (stealthily embedded), and thoughtfulness. Bravo on all accounts! Can't wait for Part Two. There must be a Part Two. My students in grades 6 and up will enjoy this book and Nate's adventures, trials, and triumphs. This book deserves all the stars it has earned so far.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Greenberg on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is hilarious fun! I pre-ordered it for my 6th grade son, who developed a love of musical theater in the last year. When it came this week, I flipped to the author bio, and burst out laughing: "Tim Federle is the author of over 700 emails..." I started reading the book, and realized last night that I had to stop since it was 1 am.

Nate is 13, and tormented in school in his home town near Pittsburgh. His one best friend is Libby and she shares his love of musical theater. He embarks on a trip to New York City by himself to audition for E.T. the Musical. I think Federle gets the tone of middle school aged kids exactly right: Whip-smart funny, but also naive and unsure of themselves. I absolutely loved all of Nate's wide-eyed observations about being in New York City for the first time. He's amazed to find Appleby's right next to the bus station! And a cupcake shop on every street.

The author has appeared in several Broadway shows and was the associate choreographer on Billy Elliot on Broadway working with all the children in the show. So he knows the subject matter, and he knows theater kids.

This book is just excellent, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I'm hoping we get a sequel for further adventures of Nate!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa Handrick on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love, love, love! What a perfect, new and fresh tale for young readers! Congratulations Tim Federle on keeping the love of reading alive in young people. An instant classic that will be on our bookshelves for generations. I have already purchased a copy for our local elementary school library. Maybe a children's musical soon? ;)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By KevinCahoon on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
'Better Nate Than Ever' is fantastic! Hilarious , smart, and extremely touching. If you have a passion for ANYTHING, you will love this book. You will fall head over heels for its hero Nate (Harry Potter and Eloise, you have company) . Author Tim Federle has created an instant classic for all ages and this is his debut novel! Amazing. Get ready world. Buy this book and say that you discovered him when!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aeicha @ Word Spelunking on February 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Better Nate Than Ever was such a complete joy to read (devour, really)! This book sparkles and shines as bright as the lights of Broadway, and is as heartwarming as it is hilarious. Debut author Tim Federle has delivered a smash hit and has done so with addicting charm and flair.

In Better Nate Than Ever we follow Nate Foster as he sets out on a big journey to make his dreams come true. Nate dreams of starring in a Broadway show and with the ingenious help of his BFF Libby, he concocts an exciting plan. When his parents go on a weekend trip and leave Nate in the care of his teenage brother, Nate and Libby put their plan in motion and Nate finds himself on an overnight bus trip to NYC and to an audition for E.T.: The Musical. Nate is dazzled by the city, but soon finds that navigating the streets (and people) of the big city isn't as easy as he hoped. And auditioning for a Broadway show is nothing like Nate imagined. But with a little help from a long lost relative and Libby back home, and a lot of courage and heart, Nate has one heck of an adventure and may just see his dreams come home.

Better Nate Than Ever is wildly entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny, surprisingly poignant, and dazzling all over. I simply fell in love with Federle's story, characters, and voice.

Federle brings Nate's story to life with a pitch-perfect and captivating middle-grade voice. Federle captures the often confusing, painful, and cringe-worthy middle-grade years in a way that young readers will relate to and older readers will appreciate. Federle is a fantastic storyteller with buckets of writing talent. Nate's world isn't a perfect one, in fact, it's pretty far from perfect.
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