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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

29 March 2015


Winger by Andrew Smith is a great coming of age novel.

Winger is Ryan Dean West. He got the nickname for playing wing on his school's rugby team. He attends Pine Mountain, a high school for rich kids who get into trouble - usually due to inattentive parents. Ryan Dean is a fourteen year old junior.

This year, Ryan Dean has ended up in Opportunity Hall - where they put the bad kids. He will miss his plush old room with two of his friends while he rooms in a stark concrete room with the biggest, scariest kid at school. He is pretty sure that Chas Becker will kill him before the term is out. His only hope is that Chas will wait until after the rugby season for the good of the team.

Ryan Dean has to deal with many things at his school - from bullies to distracting hot girls to people picking on his teammate for being gay. Through it he will try to focus on his best friend Annie Altman.

Told through both great storytelling and the occasional comic or graph, Smith has written a great book that is funny, painful, and beautiful. It should be read by everyone. A sequel is due out in September 2015.

Smith, Andrew. (2013). Winger. New York: Simon and Schuster.

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