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The Real Question Hardcover – August 24, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Hardcover: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Pub Ltd (J) (August 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561453838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561453832
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,497,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Fisher Brown is a typical overachiever, stressed out about his grades and his future. His compulsive father, who happens to be his guidance counselor, leaves index cards with pointers around his room, such as, read above and below target area. When the 16-year-old encounters Lonny Traynor lounging on a discarded sofa in the street, he wonders why he can't live the easy life, too. Lonny delights him with stories of dropping out of school, getting tattoos, and traveling the world. When he invites Fish to join him in doing a roofing job for a friend over the weekend, the teen sees an opportunity for adventure, and they hop on a Greyhound bus. The friend turns out to be the mother of Lonny's son, Charlie. Fish finds himself helping her make ends meet, fixing up the house, and being a role model for the child. He stays longer than planned, but needs to get back to school before he's in trouble. Despite his disappointment in Lonny's character, Fish learns to do the right thing and to help his new friends in need. He sets a good example for students who can get so stressed about school that they forget that other people have problems, too. Fellow overachievers will relate to Fisher's drive to help his new friends, and will be satisfied when he finds a way to work out his own problems as well. A short, satisfying lesson in caring.–Jane Cronkhite, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
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"Readers will empathize with the engaging young man who, without a guidebook, sorts through life's real questions." --Kirkus Reviews
"A short, satisfying lesson in caring." --School Library Journal
"Fogelin delivers another smart tale...Fisher's delightfully telegraphed epiphanies, the funny, harrowing road trip, and a satisfying showdown with Dad yield a novel that may well appeal to teens of both sexes." --Publishers Weekly
"This amazing title is a perfect 'guy book', and should be required reading for every teen, male or female, who feels the weight of a parent's expectations but cannot quite figure out what to do about it." --VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on March 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Study, study, study. Fisher Brown is a junior in high school and his life consists of studying. Son of the high school guidance counselor, Fisher feels the pressure to excel in academics.

Ever since the day Walt Brown's wife left and never came home, he has focused his life on doing the best for his son. He leaves inspirational sticky notes everywhere, and urges Fisher to make every effort count. "THE BIG DAY" is coming up - the SAT test - and he considers it Fisher's ticket to a scholarship and an Ivy League school.

A week before the SAT, Fisher's grandmother is scheduled to be moved into a nursing home. Mr. Brown agrees that Fisher should stay at home and study while he takes care of the move. He knows Fisher is dependable and can take care of himself over the weekend and get himself to school the following week, so he can concentrate on getting Grandmother moved.

However, no one counted on Fisher meeting Lonny, a drifter whose brother lives next door to the Brown's. When Fisher's dad leaves on his trip, Lonny invites Fisher to take the weekend off from studying to help him with a little project. The two take off by Greyhound bus on what Lonny promises to be an adventure.

THE REAL QUESTION takes Fisher on an amazing and at times dangerous journey. His experience, although taking him away from home, helps him learn more about himself, his dad, and perhaps see another side to the mother who left years ago. Adrian Fogelin's writing is filled with humor, emotion, and heartwarming characters that make the story truly remarkable. This is a book well worth having in any collection.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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By MrRonbo on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel is, perhaps, Ms. Fogelin's best work. It has an almost "Catcher in the Rye" feel to it, although the protagonist is more mature and sophisticated than Holden. I think this book should be required reading for anyone who is thinking of attending college, and anyone teaching those students who are heading there. Ms. Fogelin is a superb novelist--this book is a must read!--Ron Medvin
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More About the Author

Adrian Fogelin is the daughter of fiction writer, Maria Bontempi Fogelin, and grew up in a house littered with manuscripts. A slow early reader Fogelin took in stories as her mother read aloud, and in the lively exchange of family tales, giving her writing the freshness of the spoken word.

She is the author of seven novels for middle-grade and young adult readers, including the hugely popular "Crossing Jordan," and has won numerous awards including two Florida Book Award gold medals.

Although she might not pass the "Are you really a grownup?" test, Fogelin definitely gets kids, from the way they talk to the things they yearn for. She is a frequent visitor to schools and libraries all over the counry where she shares her love of writing and story.

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