Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

Stupid Fast.  The Summer I Went from a Joke to a Jock by Geoff Herbach

Meet Felton Reinstein.  He's just met puberty.  Felton is growing so fast that he is outgrowing his clothes at an alarming rate. He has sprouted massive amounts of body hair, started to smell bad, and he just figured out that he can run, stupid fast.  Stupid fast is faster than fast.  Felton can run so fast that people are starting to notice him.  Coaches are recruiting him for the track team, baseball and football teams.  Girls are starting to pay attention too.  His rapid growth has started to freak out his mom a bit and that has him worried.

School is out for the summer.  Felton's best friend, Gus, moved to Venezuela and now Felton has to do his paper route.  His mom, Jerri, has started acting real weird, she was already weird but now its worse.  His Dad committed suicide when he was five and Felton found him.  His younger brother, Andrew, has been pushed to the edge and now only wears pirate clothes, because he burned all his other clothes.  So all Felton wants to do is run, run as fast as he can.  Oh and hang out with his new girlfriend, Aleah.

Stupid Fast is a rare look at the awkward phase of adolescence, of going from a regular, shy kind of guy to a super jock.  Felton is a lovable character that has to figure out how to navigate his new body and speed and all the attention he is getting with no support from his family.  Stupid Fast is a mix of funny action with a little bit of crazy thrown in .  If you want to get inside the mind of a teenage boy, Stupid Fast is your gateway ticket.  Herbach does an excellent job of capturing the teen experience in Stupid Fast.

The Stupid Fast Trilogy should be a part of every Reading classroom library.  It is a great book for reluctant readers and guys who "don't read".  Stupid Fast is not just about sports, it tackles tough issues head on.  The plot is entertaining, the voice of the main character is original and I loved it.  It made me think a lot about my teenage son and the teens in my classroom and what they are going through that I am not privy too.  Teens need good books like Stupid Fast.

I'm off to give my teenage son a giant hug.  I wonder if he will hug me back.