When you surpass the scale to which you’ve drawn your ideal self, are you man or monster?
4’11” isn’t a height, it’s a sequence of numbers that makes growth-stunted Will Daughtry invisible in high school’s wild kingdom. His diminutive height is countered by a hearty wit, his defense against the pain of not getting what he really wants: a girl and a growth spurt. The girl, Monica, is brainy, beautiful, and unfettered in San Diego’s domestic homogeny. They’ve been pals since he and his best friend–cum-stepbrother, Drew, discovered an uncharted beach with her, solidifying their bond as a trio. When Will gets the courage to break the vows of their rule book à trois and 1) deceive Drew 2) ask Monica out, he falters only to have the nail of failure driven further in when Drew and Monica hook up instead. With their triptych fractured, a monstrous frustration mounts in Will—so does an appetite and subsequent growth. Will meets another challenge: His ego is growing, too, and the three that once were, might possibly never be again. Will’s first-person narration is ripe with a humor that marries dry wit, invented vocabulary, and an honest-to-goodness good time even when things are dreadful. The son of a zoologist, Will examines his Californian enclosure like a brash and bawdy Goodall. Will, Drew, and most secondary characters are white; Monica is cued Latinx.
A coming-of-height specimen whose humor you won’t outgrow. (Fiction. 13-18)