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

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  5,579 Ratings  ·  868 Reviews
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. Ther ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Simon & Schuster BFYR
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Lila I'd classify 'Better Nate than Ever' as realistic fiction.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 25, 2013 Sam rated it it was amazing
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
Vitor Martins
Apr 29, 2016 Vitor Martins rated it really liked it
Esse livro é maravilhoso por vários motivos!

Better nate Than Ever conta a história de Nate, um menino que sonha em ser uma estrela da Broadway e foge da sua cidadezinha no interior da Pensylvania para participar de um teste para um musical em Nova York. Quando eu li essa sinopse eu já sabia que ia amar.

O Nate tem 13 anos e ele pensa, age e fala como um garoto de 13 anos. Cada esquina que ele virava em NY e ficava maravilhado com as coisas que conhecia (lojas que vendem APENAS cupcakes!!!! iPhon
Dec 11, 2012 Aeicha rated it it was amazing
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 exc
Kerry Kenney
Apr 30, 2014 Kerry Kenney rated it did not like it
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

A kid who might have found someplace where he doesn't have to change anything about himself, to fit in.

(A kid going as himself for Halloween, but the best version, the ultimate.)

A better Nate than ever.

Nate Foster , a 13 years old boy from Pittsburgh, has a backstory- he can sing, he loves to sing and he knows EVERY SINGLE MUSICAL on this planet.

And Nate Forster has a dream- he wants to star in a Broadway show .

And Nate Forster has a plan - to take a bus to New York to audition for a Broa
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
C. London
Feb 27, 2013 C. London rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Catherine
Sep 22, 2012 Mary Catherine rated it it was amazing
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
Ulysses Dietz
Jun 02, 2013 Ulysses Dietz rated it it was amazing
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
Aaron Hartzler
Oct 05, 2012 Aaron Hartzler rated it it was amazing
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
Richard Kramer
Apr 02, 2013 Richard Kramer rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 08, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, humor
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
Jun 24, 2013 Mercedes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
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,
Jul 05, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it
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.

Carol Royce Owen
May 17, 2013 Carol Royce Owen rated it it was amazing
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
I can not express how much I loved this book!! Such a fun read!! I used to work as an assistant to a Children's Talent Agent, so I am familiar with the process. It was fun to read about some of my old haunts as well.

I love this story because it reminds me so much of some of my friends and how I imagine they were as kids. The boys in the middle of nowhere who are obsessed with musicals and just trying to survive high school. They have not decided what their sexuality is, but others have decided f
Kerry Cerra
Jul 03, 2013 Kerry Cerra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
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
Jun 29, 2014 Earl rated it really liked it
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
Jul 08, 2015 Raina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great example of when an author SHOULD read his own talking book.
Totally likeable characters, lovely exuberant emotions.
As a former thespian, I loved the insiders view of the audition process for a major Broadway production.
Thoroughly entertaining, funny, and sweet.
Dov Zeller
Sep 11, 2015 Dov Zeller rated it really liked it
This book very close to inspired me to create a shelf called "adorable."

I too grew up gender-non-conforming in Pennsylvania, and dreamed of escaping, so there was extra meaning in that, though I was not particularly theatrical. Nate reminds me a lot of my childhood best friend who was very involved in theater and wanted to do exactly what Nate is doing. (He did finally move to NY. I think he is no longer acting, but he seems to be enjoying his life there.)

This is a fun book and though there wer
Mary Addison-lamb
Feb 26, 2013 Mary Addison-lamb rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 03, 2015 Anja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-tbr-e

Awesome. And so cute. So so so so cute.
Can't say anything else. It was just cute.
One thing more: Nate is so freaking adorable ❤

Loved almost everything about this book. Only the ending was somewhat disappointing. It came way too abrupt for my liking.
Barb Middleton
May 03, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
Yikes. Ning Chi chili sauce feels like swallowing a flaming sword... one small teaspoon in a pot of homemade soup and if there was an open fire hydrant nearby I would have had my mouth over the geyser. Instead I settled for the bathroom faucet guzzling water and letting it run down the side of my face and into my hair where the chicken noodle soup had matted it together. I needed a spoon the size of my head to keep the noodles from slithering off and splashing broth all over me and the book, "Be ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok
This book. Where do I start?

First, with the good. Federle is a good writer, and the story moves at a good pace. I don't remember ever reading a book about a kid who was so interested and committed to theater. Nate's ability to navigate his way to New York City and tryout for a big-time production is amazing and inspiring, even as he deals with bullies (and even grown ups) who do not take him seriously, make fun of his "flaws", and generally put roadblock after roadblock in his path. He struggles
Katie Zafian
Jan 31, 2013 Katie Zafian rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 24, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
For a debut novel, this book was a delight. Nate, our irrepressible protagonist, jumps off the page, making readers fall in love with him immediately, and his first person narration is both sharply funny and completely believable as that of a naive, confused, but incredibly hopeful 13-year-old boy. Furthermore, I deeply appreciate the rare middle grades novel that allows its child characters to be queer, and I'd happily give this book to tweens of all orientations.

The book does suffer from some
Kara Oates
Feb 10, 2013 Kara Oates rated it it was amazing
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
Bobby Simic
Nov 12, 2013 Bobby Simic rated it really liked it
A lot of touchy subjects are handled with a light touch here - homosexuality, alcoholism, and bullying - thanks to Federle's deft ability to balance these issues with a super-fun story (an outcast kid runs away to New York to follow his dreams of appearing on Broadway in a musical adaptation of E.T.) with poignancy, grace and humor.

Nate is such a genuine character, someone who is growing up in an environment that doesn't understand him, which extends to his own self-perception. Nate's hard on hi
Marjorie Ingall
Apr 03, 2013 Marjorie Ingall rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-9-12
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
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Described as “a prolific scribe whose breezy wit isn’t bound to a single genre” by the Huffington Post, Tim Federle writes books that range from internationally bestselling cocktail recipe guides to award-winning autobiographical novels for young readers. Federle’s debut novel, Better Nate Than Ever, was named a New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2013. The book’s sequel, Five, Six, Seven, N ...more
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Better Nate Than Ever (2 books)
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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.” 5 likes
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