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Noggin Hardcover – April 8, 2014

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Imported from USA

From School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up—Travis Coates, 16, is dying of cancer, so he accepts an offer from a cryogenic group to have his
head removed and frozen with the hope that it would be attached to another body in the future and he could be
reanimated. Five years later, he "wakes up" with a new body and is still 16. There are a few minor problems with his new
life-he is a celebrity/freak and gets more attention than he wants, he has to get used to a body that has different
abilities than his old one, and he has to go to school with kids he doesn't know. The biggest problem is that Travis's
best friend and his girlfriend are now 21 years old and have moved on with their lives while he feels like he has simply
taken a nap. Cate is engaged and not interested in in a relationship with a teenager. Travis is obsessed with the idea
that he can win her back and won't accept her repeated "no." He tries various means to convince her that he's still the
one for her: some hilarious, some touching, some inappropriate, but all definitely sophomoric. The premise of the story
is interesting although far-fetched. The author does a good job of describing the emotions and reactions of all of the
characters, but Travis's fixation on Cate becomes tiresome and a plot twist at the end feels like it was thrown in just
to make the story longer.—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC

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*Starred Review* Travis Coates has lost his head—literally. As he dies from acute lymphoblastic leukemia,
his head is surgically removed and cryogenically frozen. Five years pass, and, thanks to advances in medical science, it
becomes possible to reanimate his head and attach it to a donor body. Travis Coates is alive again, but while his family
and friends are all 5 years older, Travis hasn’t aged—he is still 16 and a sophomore in high school. Awkward? Difficult?
Puzzling? You bet. In the past, the two people he could have talked to about this were his best friend, Kyle, and his
girlfriend, Cate. But now they’re part of the problem. Kyle, who came out to Travis on his deathbed, has gone back into
the closet, and Cate is engaged to be married. Stubbornly, Travis vows to reverse these developments by coaxing Kyle out
of the closet and persuading Cate to fall in love with him again. How this plays out is the substance of this
wonderfully original, character-driven second novel. Whaley has written a tour de force of imagination and empathy,
creating a boy for whom past, present, and future come together in an implied invitation to readers to wonder about the
very nature of being. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich
rewards. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Whaley’s sleeper debut, Where Things Come Back (2011), won both the Michael L. Printz
Award and the William C. Morris Award, so readers will be eagerly awaiting this second effort. Grades 9-12. --Michael
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