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HOW YA LIKE ME NOW by Brendan Halpin


by Brendan Halpin

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: May 8th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-374-33495-6
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Fifteen-year-old Eddie’s mother is forced into rehab and his father has died, leaving the young man adrift without adult support. Eddie must adapt to a new environment after being accepted into his cousin Alex’s Boston home. Both boys mature throughout the story, but Eddie gains confidence in himself by interacting with a new peer group. Many of the scenes occur inside their school built on the theme of business and requiring the students to dress and act like future business leaders. The boys are two of only a few white kids in the school, but relationships are relaxed and easygoing. The author has sanitized the urban school setting with dialogue almost void of swearing, and perhaps loses some credibility in the process. The cover photograph, thumbs poised over a video-game controller, is an attention-grabber, but video-gaming is only a small part of the story. The author nails group interaction moments in which the boys’ give-and-take wisecracks are totally realistic, and that repartee is the book’s strength. An interesting exploration of serious issues, presented in a lighthearted tone. (Fiction. 12-14)