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Stupid FastStupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Geoff Herbach's Felton Reinstein is one incredible character. His voice is funny, sweet, confused and just plain nice but life has not been easy for Felton and his family. At the age of five, Felton finds his father's body after he hung himself. Felton grows up insecure with some bad advice from his mother, doctors, and not having a father figure. The summer that his best friend unexpectedly leaves to take care of his grandmother; everything goes crazy- Felton's mom agrees that he will take over his best friend's paper route; he shoots up inch by inch, eats everything in sight, starts lifting weights for football, and running. Felton meets Aleah Jennings when he drops a newspaper off at his best friend's house. Aleah is a superb piano player and likes Felton. Felton begins seeing Aleah daily and they definitely have a romantic, sweet connection. But then his mother starts acting strange, cursing, drinking, and as a final threat she stops being a mother to Felton and his little brother, Andrew. Felton doesn't want to burden anyone with his family problems and his father's suicide is always a specter that keeps chipping away at his mother, brother, and Felton. I laughed at Felton's thoughts and actions but I really felt for Felton when his family was falling apart; he didn't know what to do, how to act and he withdrew by missing lifting, practices,not seeing his friends or Aleah. What will happen to Felton is worth all the drama and laughs. Herbach's book is a recommended read, I can't wait to see what my students think, since this is a Reading Olympic book selection.

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