As you might be able to guess, we love books here at First Book, and we get excited about some of the great titles that we’re able to offer to children in classrooms and programs all across the county through the First Book Marketplace, our award-winning online site.
When you’re excited about something, you want to share it, so welcome to the inaugural First Book Blogger Book Club! We invited some of our favorite book bloggers to read a young adult title that we carry on the First Book Marketplace and post about it on their blog.
February’s book was Slam, Nick Hornby’s story of a teenager unexpectedly facing fatherhood, and his search for wisdom in the autobiography of pro skateboarder Tony Hawk.
Check out the links to reviews and blog posts about ‘Slam’ below, and check back later this week when we’ll reveal next month’s title, and tell you how you can get involved.
Hornby has given us a tool to discuss some tricky topics with teens. His dialogue is direct, exactly what young adults expect, never condescending or preachy. Some may feel this simple story won’t catch the reader’s attention. However, Hornby brilliantly weaves wit and surprise in such a way that this page-turner will leave readers seeking adults to share this story.
I will start of by saying I am a single mom of two. This book just took me over the edge in shock when I was reading it.
I’m happy to say that I not only connected with the story line, I really couldn’t put the book down. For a novel with such a heavy storyline, it had me laughing at very regular intervals.
I enjoyed the unpredictability of some of Sam’s actions, however stupid they were, because they added quite a bit of excitement to the book.
Nick Hornby’s SLAM reminded me a bit of a Lifetime movie. If that Lifetime movie featured liberal amounts of Tony Hawk, magical realism, and skateboarding references.
To me this book says that it’s our fault, but it’s not a death sentence and we do have options.
What I found interesting was that I couldn’t really sympathize with Alicia, his girlfriend, probably because you didn’t get much on her feelings. If the book was told from Alicia’s POV, I would have despised Sam, but seeing inside his head gives you more understanding of his actions. It really shows you how much perspective can change things.
Sam is a good kid. That much is clear from the very beginning. He loves his mom, he worries about getting in trouble and he’s looking for any kind of guidance he can get his hands on. And he really likes Alicia.
Even though I am not, nor have I ever been a 16 year old boy, I feel like Nick Hornby took a chance with Sam’s voice, and he nailed it.
More links to participating blogs will appear here as they are posted, so check back and see what our bloggers had to say. And if you’ve read ‘Slam’, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.