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Boy21 (Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) Hardcover – March 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Series: Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316127973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316127974
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...beautiful...a first-rate work of art." The New York Times Book Review

"...satisfying but never simple... A story that, like [its narrator] Finley, expresses a lot in relatively few words." Kirkus *STARRED REVIEW*

"...[Quick's] emotionally raw tale retains a delicate sense of hope and optimism, making it a real gut punch of a read." Publishers Weekly

"...heartbreaking, but the hopeful ending pays off. An unusual and touching story." Booklist

"Quick is a master of capturing the rawness of adolescence and the bleakness that comes from being trapped in the wrong world, whether it's Finley's bad neighborhood or, in the case of Boy21, Earth." The Boston Globe

About the Author

Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the author of The Silver Linings Playbook (Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and three young adult novels, Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Little, Brown & Co.). His work has received many honors--including a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention--been translated into many languages, and called "beautiful...first-rate" by The New York Times Book Review. The Weinstein Company and David O. Russell have adapted The Silver Linings Playbook into a film starring Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Matthew lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Alicia Bessette. His website is www.matthewquickwriter.com.

More About the Author

Matthew Quick is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Oscar-winning film. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention, among other accolades. He lives with his wife, novelist/pianist Alicia Bessette, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

www.matthewquickwriter.com

Customer Reviews

I read this book in 2 days - I just couldn't put it down.
DanaG
Boy21 by Matthew Quick is a novel that appeals to a variety of readers.
Sarah
Finley believes he will be the one to help Russ, if he can at all.
Andrea Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By evanjamesroskos VINE VOICE on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Matthew Quick's prior novels focus on damaged characters that end up relying on their network of friends and family to overcome emotional as well as practical problems. Be it his adult debut The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel (soon to be a major motion picture directed by David O. Russell and starring Bradley Cooper) or his Young Adult debut Sorta Like a Rock Star, Quick crafts unique voices that carry readers through tribulations.

It is important to understand this -- despite what you may believe you prefer in a good book (plot, romance, drama, humor) none of it matters if the VOICE doesn't work. If the narrator irritates you or lies to you or withholds information without reason, you may become frustrated. If you understand what the narrator cares about -- even if they keep secrets -- you will be engaged.

In Boy21, Quick continues his tradition of troubled characters with strong voices. A self-professed 'minimal speaker' (he literally responds with nods and gestures early on, but does speak), main character Finley is harboring a tragedy that occurred before the first page of the novel. He loses himself in the rituals of basketball and his loving, true relationship with Erin. We know from page one what and who he cares about, and it's one of the prime rules of fiction: show the reader what the character cares about and the reader will care, too.

Set in the fictional town of Belmont -- a blue collar Philly suburb populated by Irish and African Americans -- Finley has no sense of the possibilities of the world.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Omololu on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received an advanced copy of this book and gave it to my 14 year old son, who thought the cover was cool. He hadn't read much the past several years, despite being an avid reader when he was a kid, so my hopes weren't high. Imagine my surprise, when I found him curled up in front of the heater hours later, with Boy 21 in his hands, oblivious to everything around him. He kept his eyes on the pages of the book for the next several days, ignoring almost everything else, before he handed it back and declared it the best book he'd ever read and insisted that I read it too. Matthew Quick has a true 'boy' voice that will resonate with even the most reluctant reader and I loved both the action and the gentle story that lay underneath. A great book all around - a stunning contemporary that soars with imagination and heart. I can't recommend it enough, and thank Matthew for reigniting my son's love of reading.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on March 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Plain and simple, Boy21 is a GREAT book. I was on the search for a quality read aloud for my freshmen English classes, so I picked up Boy21 on a whim. I wanted to read it anyway, but I kept thinking about my 3rd hour freshmen class that's primarily boys who don't enjoy reading. Boy21 seemed like the perfect fit for them, so I went with my hunch and started reading it. As soon as I read the first couple chapters I knew I made the right decision.

Finley's voice really stands out on the page, which is ironic considering he doesn't like to talk much. He actually reminds me a little bit of Lucky Linderman from Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King. Both Lucky and Finley have a sort of innocence about them. They both have trouble speaking up for themselves, and they also want what's best for those around them. Just like Lucky, Finley is an admirable character.

One of the reasons I like Finley is because he's so loyal to his friends, coach, and family. When his coach approaches him about helping Boy21 (Russ), Finley doesn't hesitate to offer his help. He trusts his coach, so even though he worries that Russ could take his starting position on the basketball team, he still tries to make friends with Russ. Russ has an obsession with space and refers to himself as Boy21, but he and Finley pair up well. They're both amazing basketball players, even though Russ doesn't show this right away, and they both deal with unfair treatment. They're both treated poorly for different reasons, much of which is based on race and rivalry, but it still serves as a bond. After a startling and tragic turn of events, Finley really grows as a character. His loyalties are tested and he begins to doubt what's truly important in his life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SS on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I first learned about Matthew Quick when I picked up his earlier book, Sorta Like a Rock Star. It instantly became one of my favorites. Boy21 is, if possible, even better than Sorta Like a Rock Star. It's the story of two unlikely friends-"White Rabbit", the only white Irish boy on his school's basketball team, and wealthy Russ, who has moved to Bellmont after a tragedy took both of his parents. Russ calls himself Boy21, and insists that he is an ambassador from outer space, sent to learn about human emotions. Mix the Irish mafia, the Little Prince, stargazing, and pure hope all together, and you have this wonderful book. I love that it features basketball, but isn't *about* basketball. It's rare to find a book that will appeal equally to both male and female readers of this age group, but Matthew Quick provides. An excellent addition to any classroom library. This book reaffirms my hope in the world.
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