Jack Sprigley isn’t just a late-bloomer. He’s a no bloomer: an eighth grader, and puberty is still a total no-show. Worse yet, he hasn’t heard from his friends all winter vacation. He assumes they’ve finally dumped him and his child-like body—until he finds out it’s much worse than that. His friends are now so far ahead of him that they’ve started dating. Jack is out of luck. But then he comes up with a plan to catch up and win his friends back. And his plan is perfect: he just has to fake puberty.
Wow, this book - I am not really sure where to start, but maybe the best way is to say that this book made me SO anxious. Maybe that was the point though.
Jack is supposed to be going through puberty - only problem - he isn't and he is very bummed about it, so much so that he is attempting to make up for the fact by pretending it is happening, even to his good friends. This book was very funny and it put Jack in a lot of very awkward places and scenarios and maybe that is why I was anxious, but puberty in general is an anxious time too and you really feel that with the character.
I didn't really connect with Jack, I am female and haven't experiences male puberty, but I completely understood the awkwardness of middle school and having people changing all around you and feeling left out. The book while written to be funny, was also a little sad too - I wanted Jack to calm down and talk to people instead of feel the need to play at it. He came off as a jerk for the better part of the book, and maybe that is a 'boy thing' I just missed the mark getting.
Overall this was a very funny read, especially if you are looking for an awkward teen read. I would recommend this book, but I am not sure how your coming-of-age boy would appreciate it if you gave it to them - it is a bit over the top in very frank ways about boy puberty and if your son knew you have read it first, they might be very uncomfortable.
“Hilarious, addictive, brilliantly-warped... like Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen crossed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid” -- Stuart Gibbs, New York Times bestselling author of the Spy School series
“Funny, heartfelt, and likely to appeal to reluctant readers, especially boys on the cusp of puberty” --School Library Journal
“A refreshing take on body image, acceptance and the need to fit in. The novel’s moments of profundity are subtle yet powerful, and masterfully balanced with humour. Spurt is appealingly naughty.” --Books+Publishing
About the Author
Chris Miles has written several books for young readers in Australia. His short fiction and other writings have appeared in publications throughout Australia. He works as a website designer and developer, and in his spare time he indulges his love of Doctor Who, LEGO®, Dungeons & Dragons, and anchovies. He is a dog person (though not literally).
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