Better Nate Than Ever
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.
- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers |
- 304 pages |
- ISBN 9781442446915 |
- January 2014 |
- Grades 4 - 8 |
- Lexile 930L
Tim Federle Q&A
Reading Group Guide
Better Nate Than Ever
by Tim Federle
About the Book
Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster doesn’t fit in at his Jankburg, Pennsylvania middle school. Instead of being athletic and community-minded like his town-favorite big brother, Anthony, short, chubby Nate is a belting boy soprano who dreams of starring in a Broadway show. With the help of his best friend, Libby, he embarks on a definitely-not-parent-approved journey to New York City to audition for a musical version of the famous movie, E.T. Nate soon learns that getting to the audition is only the beginning of an adventure on which he discovers the true meaning of family, friendship, acceptance, and, most important, how to be his own best self.
1. As the novel begins, readers meet Nate and Libby in the Fosters’ backyard. After reading this first chapter, list at least three worries Nate has about his upcoming adventure to New York. Also, list at least three concerns Nate has about how life is going in Jankburg.
2. Nate and Libby use a kind of shorthand in their conversations by referring to Broadway shows and song lyrics. Can you think of any shared experiences that you and your friends or family use to communicate in a special way? Explain your answer.
3. Throughout his stay in New York City, Nate finds himself delighted by the diversity and o see more
Behind the Book
Better Nate Than Ever Behind the Book
Behind the Book: Tim Federle’s BETTER NATE THAN EVER
Contrary to the very popular opinion of my more prominent childhood bullies: Broadway is not for sissies.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, I was the only kid who’d cut class to read Stephen Sondheim’s unauthorized biography in the library stacks. I was a black sheep, sure, but also a lost one—and I found myself when I found theater. “It gets better” wasn’t part of the lexicon when