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In this funny and insightful story, the dreams of many a small-town, theatre-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. NateÃ¢ÂÂs 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., Ã¢ÂÂa world where guys . . . can dance next to other guys who probably liked Phantom of the Opera and not get threatened or assaulted.Ã¢ÂÂ This talented first-time author has made the classic Chorus Line theme modern and bright for the Glee generation. Grades 5-8, --Andrew Medlar --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Critics are raving about Nate."--CNN "The book I needed--and would have adored--when I was a kid. Federle writes from the heart and hits you in the gut--not to mention your funny bone."--Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of Modern Family "[A] charming debut by a rising theater star."--Entertainment Weekly "The Nate series by Tim Federle is a wonderful evocation of what it's like to be a theater kid. Highly recommended."--Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the musical, Hamilton "The funny, awkward, vulnerable Nate is an insightful and entertaining narrator for this adventurous tale about an ugly duckling learning to experience and embrace his inner swan."--The New York Times Book Review "Hilarious and heartwarming...this book soars."--Publishers Weekly, starred review "From his obsession with the first franchise restaurant he sees in New York to his infectious enthusiasm for city-life, Nate is the quintessential starry-eyed small-town boy in the Big Apple...Between the hijinks and the humor, however, Nate reveals himself to be a kid who accepts that he is a disappointment to his conventional family and yet still remains solidly himself, optimistically certain that there is a place for guys like him somewhere in the world. There's plenty of substance to go along with the razzle-dazzle here, so sit back and enjoy the show."--BCCB, Recommended "A story of Broadway dreams tailor-made for the younger side of the Glee audience...Nate is a quirky and endearing leading man from the start, and anyone who has ever felt out of place will easily identify with him. It's a joy to watch him fall head over heels for a city that couldn't care less about him--in the best possible way...Federle's debut addresses--deftly--big and solemn issues in the second half of the novel, particularly with regard to family, sexuality and religion. Bravo, Nate!"--Kirkus Reviews "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."--School Library Journal "[A] twinkling adventure tale for the musical theater set."--New York Times "Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens -- with a dash of Lewis Carroll whimsy. As long as Federle wants to tell stories, a new generation of Broadway-loving theater fans has a voice in young adult literature."--Huffington Post "[A] little book with big star quality."--Shelf Awareness "Filled with adventure, suspense, plenty of humor, and incredibly unique characters, Better Nate than Ever will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever decided to stop waiting, and make their own dreams come true."--Bookpage "Funny and insightful...This talented first-time author has made the classic Chorus Line theme modern and bright for the Glee generation."--Booklist "I can't stop reading this book! Nate Foster's hilarious and touching adventures en route to making it big on Broadway just kill me--I'm falling in love with New York City all over again, and with Nate for the first time. Please, Tim Federle, take a break before writing your next book, so I'll have time to write mine. I can only hope it's half as much fun as Better Nate Than Ever!"--James Howe, author of The Misfits "No one captures Broadway or the kids who want to be part of it with the humor, insight and heart of Tim Federle. This hysterical and heartwarming story is for everyone who dreams of going out there a middle-schooler and coming back a star." --Thomas Schumacher, Tony Award-winning producer of The Lion King "A smash hit! If there were a Tony Award for books, it would go to Better Nate Than Ever."--Alan Menken, Tony and Oscar-winning composer of Newsies and Beauty and the Beast