I bought Winger by Andrew Smith for Ryan, our 14-year-old boy. It had a "staff pick" sticker on it at the local bookstore in the northern Michigan town where we spend the summer. And something about it interested me. Could it have been the cover art and words? When I discovered the main character is a 14-year-old named Ryan, I had to get it.
Well, Ryan has yet to read it. But I did. What an amazingly great book! You have to read it. You just have to.
I loved it. Is it really teen fiction? Am I immature? Intellectually stunted? I asked the author these questions and here is his reply.
"Is it "teen fiction"? Not the way a lot of people look at the genre. Here's why: I write ABOUT young adults and the adolescent experience, not FOR them. People who write FOR teens tend to get all preachy and condescending and become overly careful with what they say. I write about the adolescent experience because I think it is the most profoundly shaping part of our lives. And kids know when you're bullshitting them. If I view my approach as writing ABOUT adolescence, then I know I can put anything that is true and real in the book. No bullshit. So, no... you are not immature. Most of my readers happen to be adults. I write first and foremost for myself as the audience, so I write what I would want to read... and believe it or not, Winger still makes me laugh and chokes me up, too."
|Winger more than lives up to its cover|
|And its back cover|