Better Nate Than Ever
By Tim Federle
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781442446892, 288pp.)
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
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A small-town boy hops a bus to New York City to crash an audition for E.T.: The Musical.
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 writes a warm and witty debut that's 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.
Tim Federle was born in San Francisco, grew up in Pittsburgh, and began crashing New York auditions as a teenager, landing in five Broadway shows, from Gypsy (starring Bernadette Peters) to The Little Mermaid (starring Tim in a catfish costume), with stops at Radio City, the Met, and a Super Bowl halftime show along the way. In recent years, Tim has penned popular columns for Apartment Therapy and Huffington Post, choreographed routines for Sting and James Taylor at Carnegie Hall, and coached the child stars of Billy Elliot on Broadway—Tim’s inspiration for his debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever. Find him at TimFederle.com and on Twitter @TimFederle.
"Critics are raving about Nate."
"The book I needed--and would have adored--when I was a kid. Federle writes from the heart and hits you in the gut--not to mention your funny bone."
-Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of Modern Family
"A smash hit! If there were a Tony Award for books, it would go to Better Nate Than Ever."
-Alan Menken, Tony and Oscar-winning composer of Newsies and Beauty and the Beast
“No one captures Broadway or the kids who want to be part of it with the humor, insight and heart of Tim Federle. This hysterical and heartwarming story is for everyone who dreams of going out there a middle-schooler and coming back a star.”
-Thomas Schumacher, Tony Award–winning producer of The Lion King
"I can’t stop reading this book! Nate Foster’s hilarious and touching adventures en route to making it big on Broadway just kill me—I’m falling in love with New York City all over again, and with Nate for the first time. Please, Tim Federle, take a break before writing your next book, so I'll have time to write mine. I can only hope it's half as much fun as Better Nate Than Ever!"
-James Howe, author of The Misfits
"The funny, awkward, vulnerable Nate is an insightful and entertaining narrator for this adventurous tale about an ugly duckling learning to experience and embrace his inner swan."
“[A] charming debut by a rising theater star.”
"Hilarious and heartwarming...this book soars."
"From his obsession with the first franchise restaurant he sees in New York to his infectious enthusiasm for city-life, Nate is the quintessential starry-eyed small-town boy in the Big Apple...Between the hijinks and the humor, however, Nate reveals himself to be a kid who accepts that he is a disappointment to his conventional family and yet still remains solidly himself, optimistically certain that there is a place for guys like him somewhere in the world. There’s plenty of substance to go along with the razzle-dazzle here, so sit back and enjoy the show."
"A story of Broadway dreams tailor-made for the younger side of the Glee audience...Nate is a quirky and endearing leading man from the start, and anyone who has ever felt out of place will easily identify with him. It’s a joy to watch him fall head over heels for a city that couldn’t care less about him—in the best possible way...Federle’s debut addresses—deftly—big and solemn issues in the second half of the novel, particularly with regard to family, sexuality and religion. Bravo, Nate!"