Better Nate Than Ever
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Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever #1)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,128 ratings  ·  524 reviews
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2013, Publishers Weekly Flying Start and Best Book of 2013, Amazon Best Book of 2013, and Junior Library Guild selection

★ “Hilarious and heartwarming . . . this book soars.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Simon & Schuster BFYR
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I know this may sound like a bit of an over exaggeration, but I think Better Nate Than Ever may be one of my favorite books I’ve read.

Just like the protagonist, Nate, this book just oozes a sort of charm and hilarious innocence that is impossible not to love. Readers of all ages (I’m 24 and loved it) will find something that they can relate to in this hilarious tale of innocence, dreams, and family.

There’s just something about Nate that readers of all ages and sexes will love. He’s innocent, fun...more
Friends, I don’t want to overwhelm you or anything, but are you seeing what I’m seeing?

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. It’s true. I am assigning another high star rating.

I KNOW! I am boggled as well. What is happening to me, that suddenly more than one consecutive book is amazing enough that I’m rating it 4+ stars?!

Have I turned over a new leaf? Is Cynical Book-Bashing Monica a thing of the past, henceforth replaced with Placid And Genial All-Books-Are-Worthwhile Monica? Shall we bid farewell f...more
Better Nate Than Ever was such a complete joy to read (devour, really)! This book sparkles and shines as bright as the lights of Broadway, and is as heartwarming as it is hilarious. Debut author Tim Federle has delivered a smash hit and has done so with addicting charm and flair.

In Better Nate Than Ever we follow Nate Foster as he sets out on a big journey to make his dreams come true. Nate dreams of starring in a Broadway show and with the ingenious help of his BFF Libby, he concocts an excit...more
First of all, I'm an adult, so the book wasn't written for me. I read a review of this book in Entertainment Weekly and learned the author used to dance in Broadway shows. I thought it would be wonderful to read a book written by someone with such an unusual viewpoint for a middle grade reader.

The book is funny, Nate's voice is authentic.

My low rate is for two reasons. One, the book used the word "f-g" multiple times.

When I was growing up, this unfortunate word was used constantly on playground...more
Mary Catherine
5 out of 5 stars on Ordinary People, Extraordinary Works

Okay, so I had made this (somewhat strange) decision that I was going to stop reviewing books, save the random thoughts on GoodReads. And for a while - a long while - I was awesome about it. Sure, that had to do with lack of time and reading manuscripts instead of books, but that is not the point here. The point here is actually that I have to throw away the idea that I'm not reviewing on this site because I found the most awesome middle gr...more
Alexander London
Holy 'Dance of the Vampires' this book was good! When you're 13, being different can feel like a curse, rather than a blessing. It is for Nate...and yet, he's not going to let that stop him from going for his dream. Somehow, without pulling any punches, Federle has told a story that is moving, joyous, and laugh out loud funny. Better Nate than Ever is the kind of book I wish I had read at 13 and am thrilled I got to read now. You're going to laugh. You're going to cry. You're going to cheer for...more
Ulysses Dietz
I resisted Tim Federle's "Better Nate than Ever" just because it was so popular and has been getting such incredible press.

But Federle is coming to my local bookstore and I figured I should read it, and go meet him.

Good move. It's a wonderful book. Yes, as one of the lone low-score reviewers said, it might be a book for people who are into Broadway and that whole New York experience - but given that this means millions of potential people across the country, then why is that a criticism? Some p...more
Richard Kramer
BETTER NATE THAN EVER, Tim Federle’s new novel, is about different kinds of flight … the flight its title character, the undersized 13 year old Nate Foster, makes from misery in his hometown of Jankburg PA --to a Broadway audition for a musical version of ET (which is actually a great idea).

It’s about another kind of flight, too, that of the imagination that lifts Nate up beyond the range of the taunts aimed at him by the school bullies who think they know who he is and want to force him to acce...more
Adam Silvera

Former Broadway performer and debut author Tim Federle takes readers behind the curtains of a boy's journey to make a name for himself in the big city.

Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is fleeing Jankburg, Pa., for New York City so he can audition for the role of Elliot in E.T: The Broadway Musical Version. Nate's parents are away, celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary, and his "girl-addicted" 16-year-old brother, Anthony, encourages him to stay over at h...more
Jan 13, 2014 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor, ya
Nailed it! Tim Federle has written one of the funniest novels of the year. I was roaring reading this tale of a young 13 year-old Broadway wannabe and his madcap adventures. I truly could not stop laughing at many of the passages because they were pitch-perfect. For anyone who has ever done theater or know those that have, you will be screaming with laughter.
This isn't to say that Better Nate Than Ever is just a light-hearted romp. There are some poignant moments dealing with Nate's sexuality an...more
Adorably funny YA story about 13 yo Nate Foster. It is true that this book may be written with teenagers in mind. I even see my own son reading this book when he turns 10 or so. But for now I am glad I found it and enjoyed it so immensely.

Pick up this book if you want to come along in the brave and hilarious adventure of 13 year old Nate taking off on his own from his home town in Western PA for an audition in NYC. Of course Nate can't pull this one off on his own and he counts with his partner...more
Aaron Hartzler
Featuring the best title of a YA book this calendar year, NATE will make you laugh, yes, but you'll have tears in your eyes while you do. Federle writes humor with a sort of effortless breeze—like he cut his teeth on a remote control watching reruns of I LOVE LUCY—while simultaneously plumbing the depth of feeling found in being seized by a dream that inspires you to risk everything, even when you're not exactly sure why.

This book is a call to action, really; NATE will whisper courage in your e...more
Jun 29, 2014 Earl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
I stayed up all night reading this book! This was getting a lot of buzz where I work. How can it not? It’s about a boy who runs away to audition for E.T.: The Musical! You can’t help but be taken in by Nate’s wide-eyed wonderment of New York City. As awkward as he was and the sometimes cringeworthy situations he finds himself in, he was definitely relatable. Another great character is his best friend Libby. I’m rooting for Nate and am hoping there’ll be more books to come.

I decided to listen to...more
Carol Royce Owen
Started and finished this book today as it was a very easy read, witty and lighthearted, but with the root of bullying propelling the main character, Nate, forward to overcome every obstacle to make something of himself.

Nate is a small 13 year old boy who, together with his best friend Libby, has planned an overnight bus trip from his home in Jankburg, PA to NYC to audition for the role of Elliot in E.T. the Musical. Although everything goes as planned, when he gets to NYC he quickly discovers...more
Kerry Cerra
Better Nate Than Ever is the perfect example of why I love middle grade books more than a perfectly made Starbucks Vanilla Chai Latte. There’s something about kids in this age range that is so freaking cool. They’re still finding their way in a giant, often scary world, but their perceptions are so dead-on I sometimes wish we could all wear middle-grade blinders daily.

Nate’s tired of living in the grey world of Jankburg, PA. Worse than that, he’s sick of being bullied for his love of musical the...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 Stars

Better Nate Than Ever was absolutely terrible for my reading schedule. It totally made me not want to read . . . anything else, that is. Seriously, it's a good thing this was a short audiobook or I would probably still have put off my other books to finish this one. I just kept inventing reasons that I needed to listen to more, tasks to do so I could listen rather than read my print books, which is a good sign.

Why Did I Read This Book?
Well, Better Nate Than Ever was already on my radar,...more
Rachael Stein
Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is your quintessential small-town social outcast. He's chubby, terrible at sports, and prone to belting out Broadway songs in public bathrooms. When he and his loyal BFF Libby learn about an open casting call for the Broadway musical adaptation of E.T., they hatch a plan. Nate will take the bus from Pennsylvania to New York, audition, and be on his way home before his family ever knows he's gone. Naturally, things don't go exactly according to plan.

I love this book....more
Jan 01, 2014 Margaret rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Most middle-school kids
Recommended to Margaret by: My daughter, Jen.
Better Nate Than Ever is an enjoyable and humorous confection of a book, Federle’s first aimed at the 9-13 year-old reader. Its protagonist, Nate, is an undertall, overweight, unathletic eighth-grader whose consuming passion is Broadway musicals. His older brother Anthony is, on the other hand, an accomplished high school athlete. They live in western Pennsylvania in a town outside Pittsburgh where athletic prowess matters and a love for musicals marks a boy as somewhat less than masculine.

Katie Zafian
I really liked this book, and I thought it was really relevant to real life and a kid who has to deal with homophobia and bullying because of his 'stereotypically gay' interest in theater (another thing I liked about this- he didn't even say he was gay or straight, but yet his sexuality was only slightly mentioned and even then he said it was not really relevant). Even though that is a bit cliché, it took a twist when Nate ran off to NYC itself! It wasn't a book about a kid overcoming bullying,...more
Kara Oates
This book is amazing! I am so proud of Tim for his writing accomplishment, having known him for awhile. This book is great for anybody in my opinion. It's great for middleschoolers, kids my age (I'm 14) and adults too! Now on to the review.....
The book is told through the perspective of Nate Foster, a 13 year old from Pittsburgh, who runs away to New York City to audition for a Broadway Musical! And that musical just happens to be ET the musical! The only person he tells that he is going to NYC...more
Marjorie Ingall
I was gonna grade this on a yay-theater-geeks-yay-LGBT-friendly-kidlit scale. No need. It DEMOLISHED the curve, all by its fabulous little self. I expected Nate to have a funny, distinctive voice and I expected to like the book's politics and overcoming-bullying let-your-freak-flag-fly message. I did not expect the plot to be so tight and well-structured, or for the characterization of secondary and tertiary characters to be so strong. It's definitely madcap and farcical, but in that Noises-Off-...more
It took me the first quarter of the book to really get into the "voice" but, once I did, this was an absolute hoot of a story. Federle captures so well the pain and joy in growing up, not to mention that his insider glimpse of Broadway auditions rings true (Federle has worked on Broadway himself).

Lastly, I personally loved the book for its New York City moments: they are alternately hilarious, inspiring, and moving. This was a personal favorite: "A new reason to like New York, all over again -...more
Mary Addison-lamb
Oh my gosh. It's been awhile since I read a "young reader's" book, but the author's mother is a high school friend (her son looks just like her, only handsome)and I loved the premise.

An almost 13 year old boy who is interested in musical theater and stuck in a dull town in Pennsylvania where he is bullied by his classmates, cooks up a plan to go to an audition in NY for "ET the Musical." His best friend who is his partner in all things musical, helps to cover for him when he takes his mother's...more
The Styling Librarian
Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle – 5th grade and up, Realistic Fiction – I LOVED getting caught up in Nate Foster’s world, painful and inspiring as it was to experience. It addresses many issues that really NEEDED to be addressed within a children’s novel. It certainly contains beautiful, powerful messages. So, Nate is an irrepressable child who lives for singing, listening to musicals, has a family sending mixed messages about his passions and choices in life. He decides to go on a major es...more
Nate's small Pennsylvania town is filled with people who don't understand him--and actively dislike what they see in him. He's called all sorts of names because he loves theatre and singing. The only person who treats him well is his best friend, Libby, who alerts him to an open audition for E.T.: The Musical in New York City. With Libby's help, Nate runs away to the audition, which is wonderful and horrible and exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. But as his day trip to New York turns into...more
What an amazing book! We strongly recommend this book to our Middle School Teachers to share with your classes. Not only does the book delve into the world of Broadway with comedic brilliance, it also focuses on issues of bullying, relationships among family and friends, rejection and determination. A wonderful book to suggest to your students for a book report or also a class read. Enjoy!
Alex Baugh
For Nate Foster, 13, and his best friend Libby, musical theater is everything. So naturally, when they learn that there is an open casting call for a new Broadway musical, and that auditions are to be held on a weekend, Nathan is elated. Who better to play Elliot in E.T. the Musical? The only trouble is the Nate lives in western Jankburg, PA and Broadway is in NYC.

Nate and Libby put their heads together and soon hatch a plan. Nate will take the Greyhound bus to NYC, go to the audition, snag the...more
Jul 25, 2014 Beverly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 10-13
Recommended to Beverly by: indie next list/
Aspiring Broadway star, Nate Foster, stole my heart. His optimism, enthusiasm, wit and ambition are inspirational. His love of musicals gets him harassed by his peers and ignored by his parents, but he does not let that stop him from studying and learning all of the best songs from all of the best plays. When his best friend tells him there is an open audition for ET The Musical in NYC the same weekend his parents will be out of town, Nate sees it as destiny. He sneaks away from his small town a...more
Christopher Bird
Buy this buy this buy this NOW

sometimes you are reading something and it doesn't hit you until way into it that you are reading history being made.

this book is history being made. this book made me realize what a gaping hole there was in the entirety of all books ever written, and then this book swooped in, filled it, and made anyone else who ever tries to fill it look like a hack.

this book is THAT original, THAT heartfelt and heartbreaking and inspiring and aspirational and perfect.

this book is...more
Eliot Schrefer
I went into this novel expecting to laugh - which I did, and plenty. But it is also one of the most realistic depictions of being 13 I've read recently, from the wonder and confusion to the powerlessness and optimism. A very entertaining novel, and ultimately a moving one as well.
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Tim Federle grew up in San Francisco and Pittsburgh before moving to New York to dance on Broadway. Tim's debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever -- described as "Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens" by Huffington Post -- was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013, a Favorite Book of 2013, an Amazon Best Book of 2013, and a Publishers Weekly Best Boo...more
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“So what do you like about New York so much? That you would venture all the way here and not tell anyone?”
“Two boys were dancing together in a club,” I want to say, “and nobody stopped them.”
“Holy Dance of the Vampires, no! Dance of the Vampires!' (Instead of cursing, we shout out the titles of legendary Broadway flops.” 1 likes
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