In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

STUPID FAST by Geoff Herbach

copyright date: June 2011
primarily marketed for: (young adults, 8th grade and up)

This is what I call a “smart guy-book".  When you guys are ready to move away from fantasy into realistic fiction about teenage guy issues, Stupid Fast is one of the books you will have to turn to.  This is a book for you guys who read Invisible and Godless by Pete Hautman, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Shift by Jennifer Bradbury, Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman, anything by Chris Crutcher or John Green, and especially About a Boy by Nick Hornby.

Stupid Fast is the story of Felton Reinstein.  He is a Jewish teenager who was fiver years old when he discovered his father had hung himself in the garage.  That was the beginning of a lot of years of instability for Felton and his family. 

Now that he is a teenager, Felton is struggling to grow up, take care of his younger brother, reach his newfound athletic (not to mention social) potential, and escape the disaster his mother is becoming. 

It is important to know that this is not going to be the sports book it advertises itself as (based on the cover).  It has much more depth than that.  Felton is dealing with major family issues and uncovering long buried family secrets in the midst of fostering a budding romance and maintaining a long distance friendship with his best pal over the summer. 

His voice is filled with humor, sarcasm, and the language you would expect from a frustrated, angst-ridden, teenage boy.  The unusual cadence and writing style had me laughing out loud at some points, then wondering where the story was headed at others, then laughing out loud again before I could put the book down.

This is a book that takes some reading stamina to get through, but what a gift this story is if you stick with it!


  1. You've read some great books lately, Christy. This is already on my list like the previous too, but I didn't know that much about it. It sounds like a good book for a number of young students I know. Thanks as always.

  2. When I first started reading Stupid Fast I thought this is a guys book but in the end I loved Felton so much that female readers will also love it! I think Geoff is a great writer and I love the journey he takes the reader on!