OUR NEXT READ FOR BOC IN NOVEMBER, chosen from our wish list (DATE AND ROOM TO BE CONFIRMED) IS:
NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley
2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
Travis Coates has a good head…on someone else’s shoulders. A touching, hilarious, and wholly original coming-of-age story from John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award–winning Where Things Come Back.
Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.
Now he’s alive again.
Simple as that.
The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.
Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars.
Oh well, you only live twice.
John Corey Whaley-Who is this guy?
JOHN ‘COREY’ WHALEY grew up in the small town of Springhill, Louisiana, where he learned to be sarcastic and to tell stories. He has a BA in English from Louisiana Tech University, as well as an MA in Secondary English Education.
He started writing stories about aliens and underwater civilizations when he was around ten or eleven, but now writes realistic YA fiction (which sometimes includes zombies…).
He taught public school for five years and spent much of that time daydreaming about being a full-time writer…and dodging his students’ crafty projectiles.
He is terrible at most sports, but is an occasional kayaker and bongo player. He is obsessed with movies, music, and traveling to new places.
He is an incredibly picky eater and has never been punched in the face, though he has come quite close. One time, when he was a kid, he had a curse put on him by a strange woman in the arcade section of a Wal-Mart.
His favorite word is defenestration.
His favorite color is green.
His favorite smell is books.
He currently lives in Southern California.
Here’s what people are saying about NOGGIN:
*“Travis Coates has lost his head—literally…. [A] wonderfully original, character-driven second novel. Whaley has written a tour de force of imagination and empathy, creating a boy for whom past, present, and future come together in an implied invitation to readers to wonder about the very nature of being. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich rewards.”
-Booklist, November 2013, *STARRED REVIEW
*”Like baseball great Ted Williams, Travis Coates has his head surgically removed and cryogenically frozen after he dies (of leukemia at age 16). Unlike Williams, Travis is a fictional character, and five years after his death, technological advances allow doctors to attach his head to a donor body that’s taller and more muscular than the original. Whaley’s second novel (following his Printz-winning Where Things Come Back) is far more concerned with matters of the heart than with how head reattachment surgery would work. Travis awakens to restart where he left off—sophomore year—but everyone he knew has moved on. Best friend Kyle is struggling through college; former girlfriend Cate is engaged to someone else. As only the second cryogenics patient successfully revived, Travis is in uncharted territory; he’s “over” high school, but not ready to be anywhere else. Travis’s comic determination to turn back the hands of time and win Cate’s love is poignant and heartbreaking. His status in limbo will resonate with teens who feel the same frustration at being treated like kids and told to act like adults.”
–Publishers Weekly, January 2014, *STARRED REVIEW
“The madcap story of a boy who loses his head and finds it again. . . . Readers will recognize the Printz winner’s trademark lovable characterizations. . . . They’ll also recognize the poignantly rendered reflections on life, love, death and everything in between. . . . Whaley’s signature cadence and mad storytelling skillz are worth every page. A satisfyingly oddball Frankenstein-like tale of connectivity.”
–Kirkus Reviews, February 2014
“Whaley’s sweet and raunchy first-person narrative provides a thought-provoking look at the notions of self-awareness, the nature of identity, and the angst of a very special teen. The lively, conversational style will engage teen readers in search of an unusual, but relatable, character. At times hilarious and heart-wrenching, Noggin, with its eye-catching cover art, belongs in all library collections serving young adults.”
–VOYA, February 2014