Simon & Schuster, 2013
WINGER follows fourteen-year-old smart guy Ryan Dean West as he starts his junior year at the fancy boarding school Pine Mountain. He’s two years younger than the others in his class. His best friend and true love Annie only sees him as a little kid. He’s been placed in the dorm for delinquents because he hacked a teacher’s cell phone. Plus, his roommate is likely to kill him in his sleep. And that’s only the first day.
The book is hilarious with its clever drawings and dash-upon-dash way of making a point, but it’s also touching in a very human way. One moment I was laughing at the band-aid falling out of his too-short school pants. The next I was moved by how he wished it was yesterday again.
The story told by this kid who seems to only think of girls and playing wing for the varsity rugby team shouldn’t connect with me so much. I’m a (uh..hmm) somewhat older female who never knew a rugby position called wing existed until opening the cover of this book. And yet, Ryan Dean West seems like a pretty real person to me…and I can definitely relate to that. I bet you will too.
You can learn more about WINGER, the author Andrew Smith and his slew of other books on his website: authorandrewsmith.com