Sam Foster is the hero of this YA comic novel by Ted Staunton. He's six foot four, and over his high school years has adopted the Slouch - an attempt to draw less attention to himself in crucial situa
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"There isn't a character in this book who won't remind you of somebody you know, and they aren't superficial or two dimensional. Staunton also does an excellent job of capturing how teens think and speak, and the teenage voices feel authentic. The plot moves along at a swift pace and will easily appeal to reluctant teenage readers. Filled with action and humour, it's enjoyable to read. Much of the story is absurd, but it never becomes unbelievable. It isn't difficult to imagine that everything Sam experiences throughout the novel could happen, and readers will sympathize with Sam's mounting frustration as he keeps getting into trouble. Content wise, the novel is pretty clean, but issues of sex, drinking and drugs make this more appropriate for an early teenage audience than middle school readers.Highly Recommended.
— CM Magazine
"While maturity may remain elusive for Sam, readers won't have any trouble finding laughs in this sly, wining tale. Chuckles galore."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Staunton has written a fast-paced coming-of-age novel that flows well. Teens will easily identify with the main characters and the hilarious antics that take place as he achieves maturity. There is mention of the effects of drinking alcohol and references to drug taking, but it is within the context of the story. Although it is part of the Hope Springs series, this novel could be read as a stand-alone book."
"Staunton strikes a believable chord as the characters develop. . . Mostly comic with relatable, embarrassing situations and a cast of characters trying to figure out what they want and how to communicate with one another, it also has a few deeper notes that lend some weight to the plot. Though the outcomes of some plot points are a bit predictable, Staunton's overall story and creative collection of teenage mishaps makes it a good, solid read."
— School Library Journal
View Biographical note
Since his 1983 debut with Puddleman, one of Canada's most perennially popular picture books, Ted Staunton has been entertaining readers of all ages with his funny and perceptive stories of childhood and family life. His many other books include Simon's Surprise, the Morgan stories for grades 2-4 readers, the Dreadful Truth series of humorous looks at Canadian history, the Junior novel Hope Springs a Leak, and its YA sequel, Sounding Off.