By: Sean Beaudoin
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction (with a twist of snark)
Curriculum Subjects: Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Personal Development: Loss, Family Life: Divorce/Stepfamilies
Grade: 10 & Up
Teen rocker Ritchie Sudden is pretty sure his life has just jumped the shark. Except he hates being called a teen, his band doesn’t play rock, and “jumping the shark” is yet another dumb cliché. Part of Ritchie wants to drop everything and walk away. Especially the part that’s serving ninety days in a juvenile detention center.
Telling the story of the year leading up to his arrest, Ritchie grabs readers by the throat before (politely) inviting them along for the (max-speed) ride. A battle of the bands looms. Dad split about five minutes before Mom’s girlfriend moved in. There’s the matter of trying to score with the dangerously hot Ravenna Woods while avoiding the dangerously huge Spence Proffer–not to mention just trying to forget what his sister, Beth, said the week before she died.
Praise for Wise Young Fool
★ “Beaudoin is the Fred Astaire of comic writing, translating each sentence into a manic dance routine of half-invented jargon (“chewing the profunda-cud”) on his way to blessedly non-cloying coming-of-age glory.” –Booklist
★ “The author does a brilliant job getting into the head of a troubled teen and does not shy away from racy topics.” –School Library Journal
“Larger-than-life characters….Behind the music quest, sarcasm and pursuit of girls, however, lies a more complicated and often compelling story about family, grief and flawed coping mechanisms.” –Kirkus