This is Nick Hornby’s first true Young Adult novel. The main character, Sam, is a 15 year old skater who becomes a teenage father. The book follows the events leading up to the pregnency, through the pregnancy, and after the child is born. In general it is realistic fiction but there are some fantastical moments throughout the story. Due to Sam’s interest in skating there is a bit of inoformation about Tony Hawk sprinkled throughout the novel.
The book isn’t bad- however I do not see many teenage boys being interested in reading about pregnancy- even if they are teenage dads themselves. There is a lot of skater jargon and the role of Tony Hawk might attract teens interested in the skating world to the book. I think the book does a good job at discussing the issues surrounding sexual relationships between teenagers, safe sex, and the way a baby changes things.
This book could be used in a classroom but some might object to the frank discussion of sexuality. I might suggest it to students that mention interests in any of the topics presented. It is not a difficult read and feel it is appropriate for students in 9th-12th grade.