Better Nate Than Ever

by Tim Federle

Ages: 11 – 14 years (approximately grades 5 – 9)

If you have dreams of one day making it big as a singing, acting, Broadway superstar… you need to meet Nate Foster. Nate, introduced to musicals and coached in singing and dancing by his best friend, Libby, is certain he’s got what it takes to see his name in lights. If he can ever make it there, that is. Stuck in a small town in Pennsylvania, Nate can’t get anywhere in his Broadway career from so far away. When the two friends catch wind of an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, looking for a boy just Nate’s age to play the main character, Elliot, it is all they can do not to plan an elaborate scheme to get Nate to New York City. It’s a tough call on which feat is more difficult: plotting to get to and from New York in once piece without his absence being noticed, or out-singing-and-dancing the competition of other kids born and bred to be Broadway starlets. Will Nate make it through auditions and the big city unscathed? But, more importantly, will he need to make it back for rehearsals?

Tim Federle’s debut children’s novel is not one to skip. Nate himself is an endearing and hilariously funny leading man from the get-go. Using Broadway flops in sticky situations (“Moose Murders is all to tarnation!”), Nate navigates his way not only through New York City, but through sibling rivalry, bullying, religious parents, and questioning sexuality with a sharp wit and a lighthearted amusement that is suitable for a younger audience. For those who love musicals, the big city lights, or Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Smile, Better Nate Than Ever deserves a standing ovation.

Find Better Nate Than Ever (and the sequel, Five, Six, Seven, Nate) in our catalog.

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