Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stoner & Spaz” as Want to Read:
Stoner & Spaz
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Stoner & Spaz (Stoner & Spaz #1)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  2,728 Ratings  ·  290 Reviews
A funny, in-your-face novel starring an unlikely teenage pair - a sheltered cinemaphile with cerebral palsy and the tattooed, straight-talking stoner who steals his heart.

For sixteen-year-old Ben Bancroft - a kid with cerebral palsy, no parents, and an overprotective grandmother - the closest thing to happiness is hunkering alone in the back of the Rialto Theatre watching
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Candlewick Press (first published May 1st 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stoner & Spaz, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Stoner & Spaz

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Shirley Marr
Oct 06, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa-ya
Stoner & Spaz is a wonderfully unapologetic and brash contemporary study about well... two self-explanatory characters. Spaz is Ben Bancroft, an uptight, Grandmother-raised boy who is nicknamed so because of his cerebral palsy. Stoner is Collen Minou, the high school bad girl who is perpetually drugged out, hence the nickname.

Told from Ben's point of view, the novel is primarily driven almost entirely via dialogue, which in this case, works really well because the dialogue is a joy to read -
This awkwardly-covered book follows a teenager with cerebral palsy around while he attempts to break free a bit from the strict rules his grandmother enforces. He befriends a popular girl at school who exposes him to the wonderful worlds of dance clubs, drugs, and making out. I liked the book as a character study and I wasn't expecting more to happen but the author adds in a storyline about Ben's interest in filmmaking that overwhelms the second half of the book and changed the flow for me. (tho ...more
I chose this book because like the protagonist I have spastic cerebal palsy, also similar to Ben it affects only one side of my body. I was interested to see how a non-handicap author portrays a disabled person. There are multiple levels of CP ranging from the very mild to very severe; Ben and I are similar in our capabilities although his is slightly worse. I only have slight difficulty getting dressed and I am able to drive. Overall, Koertge did a exemplary job with both main characters. I lov ...more
Who would have thought that a love story between a boy with cerebral palsy and a manic pixie drug addict would make me sigh "Aww!" in my head at least 20,000 times? This book is so damn cute.
Lorry Chwazik
Jun 19, 2017 Lorry Chwazik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An movie-buff teen disabled with CP meets a girl who actually treats him like a human being without CP - the only trouble is that she was so stoned she can barely remember their encounter. Still, a friendship develops, one that means changes in both their lives. Terrific dialogue is a highlight in this story, another is Koertge's ability to spin a great tale with interesting characters that leaves one wondering about their fates. Good thing there is a sequel!
Jacob Hablewitz
Feb 22, 2016 Jacob Hablewitz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response

I really enjoyed the book "Stoner and Spaz" written by Ron Koertge. This book had a great amount of action combined perfectly with drama to create a very good book. I did not want to stop reading this book, and I was quite fascinated by the plot and the events that took place. I am very glad that I found this book well I was looking around in the library. This book is my favorite book of 2016, so far.


Ben, the main character in this book, suffers from C.P. This is a
My Teen Book Club chose this one to read, otherwise I probably would have never picked it up! This book grew on me as it went. For the first half I was kinda meh about it -- I wasn't a huge fan of the sorta stereotypical way the characters were portrayed (nerdy loner movie lover and TOTAL mess hot drug addict manic pixie dream girl), but as it went on, I warmed up to it.

My Teen Book Club tends to pick fantasy or genre fiction in general, so it was a good experience, I think, for them to read a
Ben’s life has been tough to say the least. His parents are gone, he has Cerebral Palsy, and to say his grandmother is overprotective would be an understatement. Everyone treats him differently, except for Colleen. When he runs into her at an old movie theater, he tries to avoid her. Who wants to hang out with a drug addict anyway. The more she hangs around, the more he want to see her. She talks to him like he is normal, she touches him like he is normal, she just overall treats him like a norm ...more
Dawn States
Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Stoner and Spaz is exactly that, a story about a girl who is on drugs and a boy who has cerebral palsy, the spastic kind. This book gives a slice of what it is like to go to a modern day high school, especially with something as difficult to deal with as cerebral palsy. It portrays this issue realistically and without any softening of the issue, but also without using stereotypes or being desensitized. This book seems like something young adults could c
Jan 27, 2009 Manda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gotta say...while not really having a whole lot of time to do this right now. I used to call this book my favorite. And I mean it still is one of my favorites. I love this book for so many reasons. 1. it has this amazing way of showing you that you really have to look at people and look at yourself before you make a judgement in anyway. 2. Sometimes you just can't get it in your head that you have to face your own shit, Though when you feel you have to save and be strong for someone ...more
♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡

While I really like the plotline I had a really difficult time with the writing style of the author and therefore my rating is on the lower side. But I still would like to recommend the book to other readers as I feel it is just me being again the odd one out here

Give it a try and judge for yourself


Blog :
FB Page :
Twitter :
Goodreads : https://w
Sep 22, 2009 Courtney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-fiction
it was merely ok. i really liked ben's character, but found colleen to be both irritating and unrealistic. some of her "drug problems" come across as particularly unrealistic and might make anyone who knows more about the topic than the author snicker just a bit. for instance: colleen winds up in the hospital and hooked up to an i.v. because of all the marijuana she smoked (not the cocaine she's been snorting throughout). really? any kid who's been around these drugs will likely be turned off at ...more
Jenny Brown
Aug 09, 2009 Jenny Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20xj-classics, teens
You have to love Ben Bancroft. He is 16 years old with cerebral palsy, his mother abandoned him, his father may have committed suicide, and his grandmother dresses him in preppy clothes. But he has a killer sense of humor, honed in the last dark rows of the Rialto Theatre in Los Angeles, and refers to himself as “spaz.” By page four, he has bumped into Colleen Mintou; “Everybody at King High School knows Colleen. At least, everybody who wants weed.” Plus, she looks like Helena Bonham Carter in F ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Brianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stoner and Spaz is a really good book. I would recommend it to younger people like in their teens. The book covers situtaions and the lives of teens like the ones today. It also is a touching story about a teen girl who uses drugs and how she becomes friend with a teen boy who has a mental illness and how they become good friends. It is a very good book.
The spaz is a 17 year old boy with cerebral palsy whose life begins to change after a teenage girl with a drug problem and drug dealer boyfriend leans on his shoulder and sleeps during a showing of The Bride of Frankenstein. They seem to be polar opposites, but they somehow make a romantic connection and leave an imprint on each other's lives. One for the better and one for the slightly better.
Mia Powell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
love love loved
Mar 26, 2017 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a weakness for people who are a little messed up in the head, and I guess the same goes for characters, because Ben and Colleen are my kind of people. This was SO GOOD, and made be wonder-- why aren't there more books about people with disabilities? I think this might be the first one I've ever read, and that seems crazy.
Andrew Hicks
Sep 29, 2014 Andrew Hicks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
The first notes I wrote down while reading Stoner and Spaz were “out of touch - old?” When I finished the book, I searched author Ron Koertge’s biography - yeah, turns out he’s in his seventies. So when he wrote Stoner and Spaz in 2002, he was at least 60. It shows.

The title sums it up - there are two main characters. One, a hot mess of a girl named Colleen, is the stoner. The other, a boy named Ben who has cerebral palsy, is the spaz. Both are firmly on the outskirts of popularity in their
Paul Baker
Aug 08, 2014 Paul Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Although classified as a breakthrough novel in the Young Adult genre, Stoner & Spaz--like all good novels--can be read and enjoyed by anyone.

It's a short book, very lean and very well-written. Maybe my own experience with cutting a large novel down to size has colored my point of view, but I have grown to really appreciate storytelling that gets right to the heart of the subject. The characters are bold, the Southern California landscape spare, and the theme explored relentlessly.

Told from t
Sep 10, 2012 Lindseydecker7 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lindsey Decker
Period 7
Book report

The book Stoner and Spaz is an amazing book. The true meaning behind the book is very touching. You should never judge a book by its cover. Like any other book, Stoner and Spaz follows the "Hero's Journey". Three out of twelve steps that this book follows is uncomfortable home, denial, and reward.

First is the uncomfortable home. Colleen is a young girl with a drug addiction. Her home life is not the greatest. Colleen is basically the boss of herself and doesn't f
May 13, 2008 Jennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: yaliterature
Benjamin is a teen with cerebral palsy; he is shy and extremely self-conscious until he meets Colleen at the Rialto Theater. She doesn’t seem to care about his handicap and she doesn’t seem to care about herself either because she has a drug problem. They strike up an unlikely friendship and Benjamin gains the self-confidence that he desperately needs.
I really enjoyed this novel. Ben is a sympathetic character because it is difficult to be a teen and fit in, but he has to also deal with his ce
Danielle Behn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First Impression:
I've read some of Ron's books before, so when I was asked to do another tour for a different set of books, I jumped at the opportunity. I, of course, had to read the first one first. The title reveals a bit, but I never thought spaz would mean a kid with cerebral palsy.

While Reading:

Ben struck me right off as a bit stand-offish. And not just because he has CP. He tends to hang with himself at an old movie theatre and his voice instantly shows how much he hates his limp and the w
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
3.5 Stars - This book wasn't what I was expecting, which I seem to be saying quite a bit these days. However, it's true again with this book. This quick read was another that I had finished in one sitting. The characters were polar opposites of each other.

Ben who was born with Cerebral Palsy pretty much keeps to himself. He believes he's a monster because of his disability and chooses to hang out for the most part alone. He's addicted to the way movies are filmed and likes to hang out in the ba
Oct 15, 2011 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2013 Evelyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the relationship between 16 year old Ben, who has cerebral palsy, and Colleen, who is a druggie who usually hangs out with the wrong crowd, a realistic possibility along with Ben's relationship with his grandmother who he lives with and the neighbor. I did like the fact that this story does not end with a fairy tale happy ending but actually leaves an opening for the next book Now Playing Stoner & Spaz II. It is a very quick and easy read at only 169 pages.

My issues with this book is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2013 Ty60462 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Stoner & Spaz” is a realistic fiction written by Ron Koertge. The story follows from the perspective of Ben Bancroft, a 16 year old with cerebral palsy. His father having committed suicide and his mother simply leaving, Ben has spent almost his entire life under his strict and up-tight grandmother. Though being basically a loner inside and out of school, Ben has a few hobbies he enjoys. His favorite thing to do is go to the movie theater and watch his favorite films by himself, just to obse ...more
Apr 09, 2010 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Plot Summary

Benjamin has Cerebral Palsy, lives with his grandmother, has no friends, and absent parents. He has never talked to a girl on the phone, let alone brushed elbows with a girl, and he spends most of his time studying or watching movies. He is polite, sensitive and caring. Colleen wears tall silver boots, is on the edge of the music scene, sells drugs, and lives in a world revolving mostly around drugs. Her family is dysfunctional, she admits to doing anything with any guy when she is f
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Valeska's Book Review 1 8 Nov 17, 2012 07:49PM  
  • Out of Order
  • Suckerpunch
  • Chinese Handcuffs
  • 33 Snowfish
  • Burger Wuss
  • Seek
  • Bucking the Sarge
  • What's in a Name
  • Rats Saw God
  • Tribes
  • Hanging on to Max
  • Rucker Park Setup
  • The Orange Houses
  • Thaw
  • Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking an Ashtray?
  • Bird
  • Owl in Love
  • Returnable Girl
Ask Ron Koertge what he brings to the realm of young adult fiction, and the seasoned author responds matter-of-factly. "I write dialogue well, and I'm funny," he says--an assessment few would argue with. "I like iconoclasm and practice it in my fiction. I don't like pretense or hypocrisy. I'm almost always irreverent."

A faculty member for more than 35 years at Pasadena City College, where he has
More about Ron Koertge...

Other Books in the Series

Stoner & Spaz (2 books)
  • Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II

Share This Book

“I always sit through the credits. I am always the last one out of any theater. I even make a point of being last. I stay in my seat until everyone else has shuffled past. Then I turn my back, too, on the comforting dark.” 1 likes
“Since I’ve been pretty much treading water all day, the marquee of the Rialto Theatre looks like the prow of a ship coming to save me.” 0 likes
More quotes…