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About the Author

Nick Hornby was educated at Cambridge and began his career as an English teacher before going on to write the internationally bestselling novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, How to be Good and A Long Way Down. He has written three works of non-fiction: the hugely popular Fever Pitch, 31 Songs and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree. Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy have all been made into successful films. Nick has won many awards and is a huge pop-music fan. He lives and works in Highbury, north London. Slam is his first teenage fiction novel.


Hoult, who played the part of Marcus Brewer in the screen adaptation of Hornby's About a Boy, does a credible job-perhaps too credible-as Sam, the 16-year-old hero of Hornby's first YA novel. His tone is conversational, and he relates Sam's story about inadvertently getting his girlfriend pregnant, with little variation in emphasis: he's the epitome of the cool, unfazed teen even in the face of impending doom. But the combination of Hornby's authentic dialogue and Hoult's convincing reading produces some passages of teenspeak, especially between Sam and girlfriend Alicia-"Dunno/ Me neither"-type repartee-that is hard-going as entertainment. Hoult adopts a slightly deeper inflection for the part of Tony Hawk, whose poster Sam uses as a sounding board, but, comically, the quintessential California skateboarder speaks his lines (quotes from his autobiography, which Sam has memorized) with a British inflection. Overall, the audio showcases Hornby's skill at getting deeply inside the mind of his character. Sam, the most talkative teen ever to grind a skateboard, says, "Listen, I know you don't want to hear about every single little moment" and proceeds to recount every single little moment anyway. Ages 12-up. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 8). (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Touching, very funny Guardian Hornby gets his point across with the subtlety and skill of a born novelist who always deserves to be read Independent Warm, witty and wise Arena Hornby's writing is hilarious Cosmopolitan Hornby takes the raw ironies of life and gently rubs away at them to reveal gems of bittersweet truth Observer A moving read for anyone Elle Truthful and funny Sunday Times

Gr 9 Up-Sam has slammed many times while skateboarding, but he slams in a different way when he learns that he is going to be a father. He is nearly 16 when he meets Alicia, and the relationship moves quickly, ending just as fast. Then, on his birthday, he gets an "urgent" text message from her, and what she has to tell him when they meet doesn't surprise him. Alicia is pregnant. Sam turns to the poster of the person he can always trust to give him the answers, Tony Hawk. TH whizzes him into the future and shows him exactly what kind of father he will become to his child, Roof. These moments are the most touching and hilarious in the novel. Sam's adventures are artfully done and move the plot forward without revealing too much. The characters are given the opportunity to grow with charm and wit while facing the challenges of young adulthood. Without making light of it, Hornby broaches the subject of teen pregnancy with humor and warmth.-Julianna M. Helt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Hornby, the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy, specializes in memorable characters; in his first novel for young adults, he's created a dozy. On his 16th birthday, Sam gets an urgent text message from his ex-girlfriend. He is about to be a father, just as his own parents were teens when they had him. Seeking advice from the poster of skateboarding pro Tony Hawk in his room, Sam learns all the ways his life will change with the birth of his son. Why It Is for Us: Who knew that Tony Hawk had superpowers? As Tony whizzes Sam forward and back in time to show him what his life will hold, we experience a full range of emotions from this baffled but likable young teen. Hornby is able to evoke equal sympathy for Sam and for his parents, who know how difficult it will be to rise above this situation and build a future. [Originally published in 2007.] Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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