A tragicomic story of bad dates, bad news, bad performances, and one girl's determination to find the funny in high school from the author of Denton Little's Deathdate.
Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she's hilarious.
It might be a long wait, though. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself and her dad, a former comedian and her inspiration.
Then, on the second day of tenth grade, the funniest guy in school actually laughs at a comment she makes in the lunch line and asks her to join the improv troupe. Maybe he's even . . . flirting?
Just when Winnie's ready to say yes to comedy again, her father reveals that he's been diagnosed with ALS. That is . . . not funny. Her dad's still making jokes, though, which feels like a good thing. And Winnie's prepared to be his straight man if that's what he wants. But is it what he needs?
Caught up in a spiral of epically bad dates, bad news, and bad performances, Winnie's struggling to see the humor in it all. But finding a way to laugh is exactly what will see her through.
**A Junior Library Guild Selection**
Winnie Friedman, 15, retired from performing after a disastrous stand-up comedy attempt at her bat mitzvah. But after a flirtatious encounter with junior Evan Miller, "the funniest guy in school," and encouragement from her best friends, identical twin sisters, Leili and Asmaa Kazemi, who are Muslim, Win decides to join Manatawkin High School's improv group. Initially uncomfortable, she finds her comedic footing using several bits she's worked out with her father Russ, a former stand-up comedian/actor who gave it all up to raise Win. But when Russ reveals to Win that the clumsiness he's been exhibiting is likely to be ALS, her life spins out of control. As Evan's flirtation turns into something more serious, Leili withdraws, causing Win even more confusion. Rubin (Denton Little's Death Date) again handles mortality with a light touch and humor, realistically capturing a father-daughter relationship in the face of a serious illness. Charming, heartbreaking, and ultimately life-affirming, Rubin captures Winnie's verve and heart with honesty and wit. Ages 12 up.