“The Nate series by Tim Federle is a wonderful evocation of what it’s like to be a theater kid. Highly recommended.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the musical, Hamilton
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Slate Favorite Book of the Year
A small-town boy hops a bus to New York City to crash an audition for E.T.: The Musical in this winning middle grade novel that The New York Times called “inspired and inspiring.”
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.
Tim Federle’s “hilarious and heartwarming debut novel” (Publishers Weekly) is full of broken curfews, second chances, and the adventure of growing up—because sometimes you have to get four hundred miles from your backyard to finally feel at home.
Federle's hilarious and heartwarming debut novel follows 13-year-old musical theater loving Nate Foster on his meticulously choreographed overnight getaway to New York City to audition for E.T.: The Musical. Catchy chapter titles framed in marquee lights ("This'll Be Fast: You Might as Well Meet Dad, Too") and running gags, like Nate's use of Broadway flops as epithets ("Moose Murders it all to tarnation!"), add to the theatrical atmosphere as Nate breathlessly narrates his backstory and real-time adventures. Federle (who has himself worked on Broadway) combines high-stakes drama with slapstick comedy as Nate travels by Greyhound bus dying cellphone and dollars in hand determined to get to the audition, conceal his lack of chaperone, and compete in the cutthroat world of child actors and stage parents. Nate's desperation to escape his stifling home environment, instant love affair with the city, questions about his sexuality, and relationship with his dysfunctional but sympathetic family add emotional depth. Federle's supporting characters affirm theater's "no small roles" adage, and E.T. references abound like Elliott's bicycle in the film, this book soars. Ages 9 13.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Such a great read. Heartfelt, honest, hilarious. A perfect read for young adults and not so young adults. Begging for a sequel...or a full fledged musical of its own.
Charming and too clever
I downloaded this based on a Facebook recommendation and was pleasantly surprised that it's not really a children's book— the main character/narrator may be a 13 but he has a sense of maturity and a sharp wit to keep adults entertained. Parents beware: the author does (as Ira Glass would say) acknowledge the existence of sex, but in a tasteful and honest way that brings to mind a modern Judy Bloom. This book is a godsend for the awkward kid or the closet drama queen (and grown-up, un-closeted queens too).
I met the author
I went to Atlanta, Georgia to be in the Junior Theatre Festival and I met the author! His name is Tim Federle and I saw him at a dance party and was one of the lucky people to get the first copies and then there were the other kids who just got a Newsies pen.