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Sleeping Freshman (Never Lie), by David Lubar

May 18, 2009

sleepingfreshThis book is narrated by Scott, a clever book maniac.  It follows him through his first year of high school, as he deals with bullies, homework, sleep deprivation, an older brother moving back home, his pregnant mother, gym class, student council, the school paper, a school play, his friends drifting away, and, of course, girls.  Scott tries to just survive the year, but it turns out high school might change him in more ways than he can imagine.

I read this book in less than two days.  I loved the wit and the action-filled plot.  But most of all I loved Scott.

In the beginning of the novel Scott is kind of a nobody at his high school, but not in ways defined by his clothes or how athletic he is.  He just wants to fit in and get the girl.  But Scott is not shallow;  he’s nice and creative.  Slowly he begins to discover what standing up for yourself, and others, means, why good people do it, and why it’s important.  He learns to respect his own thoughts and opinions.  David Lubar allows Scott to come to terms with the world and people around him, through funny journal entries and reflective paragraphs of Scott’s thoughts and feelings.

Though more sensory images or visuals could be included in the book, so the reader could “make the movie” better,  I found that with a little imagination it was a smooth read, thanks to Lubar’s great dialogue and, of course, amazing character development.

This book had the potential to be as stereotyped and clichéd as possible.  But Lubar steered away from the phony gimmicks and unrealistic plots of other novels about high school.  Scott’s complicated narrative voice is one that’s not to be forgotten.  I rated this book a 10, and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever been, or will, be a freshman.


Publisher:  Puffin, 288 pages

Read more about this title on Amazon.com

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