January 7, 2011

For the Guys: Notes From the Midnight Driver

Every Friday I highlight books and authors that are ones boys might really enjoy. I'm not saying girls wouldn't read these books, but they are clearly "guy" books.

This week I'm highlighting:

Notes From the Midnight Driver
by Jordan Sonnenblick

Why boys might like it:
It has a fantastic male narrator that I think many boys could relate to.  He makes a huge mistake and is now dealing will the fallout from it.  But it's fallout that leads to an outcome he never expected.  This turn of event will keep boys reading as well as the way Alex tells his story.  His voice has such a ring of realism that boys won't feel manipulated or that it's a "girly" book even though it has some very touching scenes.  These scenes though, won't turn off boy readers because Alex keeps the story in a "guy" tone.

Why else:  It is by the same author as Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pies.  I have so many students that love that book - boys too! - that I know I can get them to try this one for that reason alone.  The beginning will grab them right away and the rest will keep them reading.

Please note - this is more a YA boy's book than a MG boy's book.  I can see 7th graders reading it, but younger boys might not understand completely what is happening and why. 

From Goodreads
16-year-old Alex decides to get even. His parents are separated, his father is dating his former third-grade teacher, and being 16 isn't easy, especially when it comes to girls. Instead of revenge though, Alex ends up in trouble with the law and is ordered to do community service at a senior center where he is assigned to Solomon Lewis, a "difficult" senior with a lot of gusto, advice for Alex, and a puzzling (yet colorful) Yiddish vocabulary. Eventually, the pair learn to deal with their past and each other in ways that are humorous, entertaining, and life-changing.


  1. Jordan Sonnenblick is SO TALENTED! Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie is absolutely incredible. I didn't like Notes from the Midnight Driver quite as much, but I have a number of students who can't wait to get their hands on everything he writes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I wouldn't have guessed from the cover that it was YA.

  3. Oh, I love all of Jordan Sonnenblick's books. Zen and the Art of Faking It is one of the funniest books I've ever read. And I knew Jordan had really made it to the big time when high schools in my area put Notes From the Midnight Driver on required Summer Reading lists!

    We shelve it in YA in the bookstore where I work. It's definitely for ages 12 and up.

  4. OMG how funny!

    BTW, I have a contest you should check out: http://www.talesofwhimsy.com/2011/01/contest-whos-brave-artemis.html