Monday, February 3, 2014

Winger by Andrew Smith

There are a few things I need to say right off the bat: 1. I LOVED this book. 2. It is not meant for intermediate students- but if you are a high school teacher- you need to buy this book! On the surface, Winger is a book about a very smart boy who is 14 years old and in grade 11. His parents have sent him off to a prep school and because of a few issues in his past he finds himself living in 'O-Hall', the residence for boys who need more supervision and restrictions. Ryan Dean is a bit afraid of the people who live in 'O-hall', they are big, football players who have an intense dislike for the rugby team of which Ryan Dean is a part of. To make matters worse, Ryan Dean is only 14 and the rest of the students in O-hall are all 17-18 years old. But Ryan Dean has decided that this is his year, he is not going to be the little boy anymore. He is going to show people he is tough. Yet with all 14 year old boys, things happen that he can't control. Through it all, Ryan Dean deals with embarrassing, difficult and challenging situations with humour. There were many times when reading this book that I laughed out loud. Yet this book also deals with very serious issues such as friendship, peer pressure, relationships and sports. This book was so incredibly unforgettable. I think Ryan Dean will live inside my head for a long while. I just heard as well that there will be a sequel to this book. As I said right off the bat, this book has very mature content. Ryan Dean is a 14 year old boy dealing with girls and he is very free with the thoughts that run through his mind and for this reason alone I wouldn't have it in my Intermediate classroom. I am planning on sharing it with my own 14 year old- I think he will like the quirky, real life situations Ryan Dean finds himself in.

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