Friday, January 31, 2014

Audiobook review: Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle. Unabridged audiobook on 5 compact discs, 5.75 hours. Narrated by the author. Recorded Books, May, 2013. 9781470369385. (Purchased)

Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is the odd man out in Jankburg, PA. He loves theater in a family and community that is football obsessed. He and his bfs, Libby are plotting his getaway. She learned that there is an open audition for ET: the musical and Nate is Broadway bound on a Greyhound bus. 

Nate's observations of New York City are precious and absolutely hysterical. We learn that life at home and at school is not easy for Nate. He reveals this so breezily that it takes a beat or two to realize just what he deals with on a daily basis and it's heartbreaking. He is resilient though and, maybe even optimistic. He constants puts a positive spin on things and gives people the benefit of the doubt. He is so, so kind despite the lack of kindness he regularly receives.

Now, I'm not usually a fan of author narrations, but Tim Federle's narration was perfectly paced. He sounded appropriately young and his comedic timing was subtle and flawless. I laughed and teared up all over again. It was such a pleasure to reread this favorite of mine with my ears.

Coincidentally, I finished listening as I pulled into my hotel's garage in Philadelphia last Friday. I was in town for ALAMW. I cheered very loudly when Better Nate Than Ever received a Stonewall and Odyssey honor.

Tim is currently on book tour for Five, Six, Seven Nate! and my school was lucky to be a stop. His presentation to my students was great. The kids connected immediately and Tim was comfortable, charming and quite funny! I could tell the kids were really listening because their questions at the end were quite thoughtful. The fifty minutes were soon over and no one wanted to leave the auditorium.

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