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Teen Summer Reading Book of the Week: Winger, by Andrew Smith


Pictured on the cover is a bloody-nosed, scarred prep school guy. Don’t forget to flip it over too, to see an illustrated version on the back! I find the story is much like the cover; a bit painful but also makes me laugh and feel for the main character of Ryan Dean West.

Winger For those of you who have never stepped onto the rugby pitch, a winger is a position in rugby and Ryan Dean is a winger. This prep school story weaves the dramas of school and relationships with the rough and tough sport of rugby. Fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky will enjoy the real and raw first-person narration by a self-declared “loser” and high school junior who skipped 2 grades. The story’s tone is mostly humorous, although there is a dark twist at the end that might leave you longing to know more about what happens next.

The story almost feels like a diary, littered with letters, cartoons and drawing. I love the graphs, pie and bar charts and most of all a “loser score” graph. Girls, if you ever wondered how the teen boy brain works, this is the book to read. Guys, Ryan Dean will sound like one of your best friends and classmates (or even yourself).

This book will make you look forward to the school year – well, at least school sports! What sport you are most looking forward to when you go back to school?