Reviewed for this blog by Sara, Simsbury Library
Five, Six, Seven, Nate is the sequel to Better Late than Never. I listened to Better Late than Ever for the YALSA HUB challenge last year as it is an Odyssey Award Honor book and loved it so I couldn’t wait to read the sequel! I started listening to this book the first day of my new job as a Teen Librarian. It was perfect when the author read to me “Did you know that ‘excited’ is Latin for ‘actually-kind-of-nervous-but-in-the-greatest-way-possible?” Absolutely!
Nate is excited! He has made it to Broadway! Well… As a second understudy to E.T. (yes in a costume and with no lines). Living with his Aunt Heidi, the only relative who may actually get why Nate wants to be on Broadway, Nate begins rehearsals. He comes across many intimidating child stars, including Jordan, the star of the show as well as directors who forget his name and competition between understudies.
Five, Six, Seven, Nate had me filled with laughter. Besides the laughter, I really enjoyed his companionship with his best friend Libby. They have a friendship I think everyone desires.
This has a great story line: living the dream – being on Broadway! Nate’s voice is one of a thirteen year old boy who is going through typical teenage complications – sexual identity, trying to get his parents to understand his Broadway desires, being separated from his best friend when her mom is sick with cancer, and discovering what new friendships could mean. I’ve never acted before but the tribulations that Nate goes through sound accurate for those child actors. As far as format goes, I enjoy the author reading Nate’s story! His voice suits that of a thirteen year old boy and you can tell that he loves telling it. A great recommendation for tweens, fans of humorous stories, and Broadway dreamers!
Will it win a Printz? I have a personal prejudice/opinion against books not first in series winning an award. If something wins an award, as book two or further in a series, most people will want to read book one first. This could be good or bad as some will be excited and others will find this a turn-off. Of course, many books, including this one, can be read on its own. I don’t think this could win the Printz but I can see it getting another Odyssey honor!