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)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,494 Ratings  ·  266 Reviews
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 Bride of Frankenstein for the umpteenth time. Of course, the last person he wants to run into is drugged-out Colleen Minou, resplendent in ripped tights, neon miniski ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Candlewick Press
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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Shirley Marr
Nov 03, 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 -
...more
Flannery
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
Heather
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
Ernie
Oct 12, 2012 Ernie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-book
As the title implies, two sixteen year old American high school students, colleen, a drug addict and Ben who has cerebral palsy (CP) are the central characters of this story narrated in the present tense by Ben. It’s been a long time since Eleanor Spence and Ivan Southall created characters with CP and these two are memorable for the witty repartee of their ‘telling it like it is’ dialog.. Ben: “you throw up a lot”. Colleen: ‘I’m practicing for the Olympics.’
Ben has retreated into his private wo
...more
Dawn
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
...more
Manda
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 else...you ...more
Mia Powell
Oct 18, 2015 Mia Powell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney
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
Adam
Nov 11, 2014 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the teenage Ben Bancroft- a boy with cerebral palsy that is a loner that hardly had a family nothing but a overprotective grandmother that tried to keep the boy from having a life. Ben only had one thing and that was movies that is the only thing he had that was even close to happiness. He walks into the Rialto movie theatre like he always does on a regular basis, except one thing was different. The last person he expected or wanted to see was drugged up Colleen Minou not very impressive wit ...more
ACS Librarian
Love can be such a game of chance. Who knows who you 19ll meet, or why you 19ll connect. If you 19re 16-year-old Ben Bancroft, with cerebral palsy, you wonder if you 19ll ever connect with anyone. And then it happens. And if it happens with a drugged out stoner like Colleen, well, who cares.

Life without Colleen was a waking death in comparison. Ben's previous response to CP had been to shrink away from any contact. As for his family, his dad committed suicide, his mom walked out, and his grandm
...more
Paul Baker
Aug 11, 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
...more
Danielle Behn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Xander Sympathy
Nov 12, 2014 Xander Sympathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really sweet book, that, I found on the floor of my english teacher's floor, I'm kind of ashamed to say that I stole it from a student, who left it behind the class before, but somehow that seemed to oddly add to the charm of the book. It was a rather short read, but I really liked every bit of it, in a lot of ways, with small tidbits it managed to sum up highschool rather well, and the reality of it, not what's on TV and all that, and honestly, I liked the way that the book made it s ...more
Minerva
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.
Brianna
Jan 04, 2015 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.
Sara
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
...more
Adele Broadbent
Ben is 16 and has cerebral palsy. He lives with his overprotective grandma and with no friends, escapes into movies. One night at the Rialto Theatre Colleen Minou asks him for the cost of admission. She is tattooed, loud and oozing attitude, and Ben tries to avoid her as he knows her from school. When she sits next to him then falls asleep on his shoulder, he enjoys the feeling. They build an unlikely friendship – her the stoner, him the spaz – which they openly admit and label each other.
But th
...more
Nicky
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.
Andrew Hicks
Nov 06, 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
...more
Kailey
Jun 19, 2015 Kailey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clarissa
My 3rd book by Koertge. They were each really different and I totally enjoyed all three. This one I had heard about multiple times from students (book talks) and so had been wanting to read it for a while. Kellie handed it to me at the end of last semester, and I finally got to it last week - Feb vacation. Great characters, good storyline, fun and funny and bittersweet and painful, all at the same time. As i write that, I realize that is sort of a thread or theme with Koertge... esp with Shakesp ...more
Nineveh
I would really like to give this book more a 1.8, but whatever. I only read through to page 40 or so, and I was really struggling to get myself to stay with this book. There aren't many descriptions and character development, it is essentially all dialogue. I guess this appeals to some people, but it just wasn't something I enjoyed reading.

I read Koertge's book Margaux with an X and completely loved it, but this book didn't quite match up for me.
Brianna C
Mar 13, 2015 Brianna C rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
When I first heard about this book I was extremely interested in it. I suffer from a mild case of cerebral palsy myself and don't really know anyone else with it. I've always been interested to see how it can affect people. This was certainly an interesting outlook.

One thing I really liked was the Ben was the focus and he didn't want any pity. He basically accepted his fate and his condition and didn't let it completely ruin or change his life. With the help of Colleen and his neighbor he was ab
...more
Hilary
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
Greta Mcgee
May 07, 2014 Greta Mcgee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Kurtz
Koertge's book is perfect for the YA audience. I am surprised that it has not garnered more attention, it is every bit as good as Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and has fascinating characters in Ben and Colleen. I felt it had a coming of age type theme and style, akin to Judy Blume's Forever from the male perspective. I also like the fact that Ben has an obsessive interest, in this case movies.

Being familiar with Koertge's writing style, and having visited with him on a personal level and ta
...more
Terri
Oct 17, 2011 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
Mar 06, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens and adults who like quirky characters and zingy dialogue
Shelves: children-and-ya
This is a story about an unusual friendship between a lonely physically handicapped "spaz" whose grandmother makes him wear $70 Brooks Brothers shirts to school and a "stoner" party girl who'll "get high and do anything."

Ron Koertge knows how people -- especially kids -- talk and, for me, hearing his characters' voices is the best part of any Koertge book.

Ben (the "spaz" of the title, he is afflicted with cerebral palsy) is smart, funny, and charming, and when Colleen (the "stoner") tells him th
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 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
  • Bucking the Sarge
  • Hanging on to Max
  • Burger Wuss
  • Seek
  • Rats Saw God
  • America
  • Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking an Ashtray?
  • Born Blue
  • Doing It
  • Stone Cold
  • 33 Snowfish
  • The Brothers Torres
  • Bird
  • Kissing the Bee
  • Dark Dude
62567
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
More about Ron Koertge...

Other Books in the Series

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

Share This Book



“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
“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.” 0 likes
More quotes…