Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

An honest look at teen pregnancy from boy's point of view.

Slam Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

But so Funny!

I'm surprised that no one else mentioned how hilarious this book manages to be even while dealing with the serious teen subjects- pregnancy and the life changing events that follow. The author did such an amazing job (as he always does) creating an engaging, believable teenage protagonist, and while I read I was plugging all the boys I know including my own son into the role. This, of course, made me both cringe and laugh simultaneously. I actually listened to the audio book with ear buds in while doing chores around the house as I always do, and there I was washing dishes and laughing out loud over and over (which I rarely do) while my kids stared at me from the table over their homework. This is definitely a book of contrasts as another reviewer mentioned. The adolescent preoccupation with skate boarding and Tony Hawk juxtaposed with the melodrama of teen romance. The quite typical, carefree boy facing the awful reality of becoming a father at such a young age. The contortions and struggles of the parents of the teenagers trying to figure out how to handle this situation. How can any of that be even a little funny?? But it is absolutely hysterical in parts- can't explain it. Its clear from the first chapter exactly what is gong to happen, yet its written in a way that manages to surprise you over and over. It is a tricky book to find the right audience for. I recommended it to a bunch of my mom friends who have early teen aged boys. But when I described the plot, they all just cringed and I don't think any of them gave it a try. The only reason I read it is because I'm such a Nick Hornby fan and didn't know anything about it when I started. I'm really glad I did read it, and I will try to pass it along to my son when he's older- I know he will relate to the main character, but with all those endless relationship details... he may hate it.... who knows?
age 11+

Mature but a good book for tweens and up

This is a mature book. So parents may have varied ideas on this book being right for kids. I think the age I have listed is this youngest age a child should read this book. If you think your child shouldn't read this book, it should be because you are uncomfortable with them hearing bad/curse words or because you don't want to introduce them to the teen pregnancy theme of this story. A mature child should be able to read this story.

This title has:

Educational value
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

It may seem odd to say about a book on this theme, but with the author's touches of magical realism, humor, and warmhearted respect for his characters, this is a delightful read.

The jacket copy says, "Nick Hornby has made a career writing about men who act like boys. Now he gives us a boy who acts like a man." That's about as perfect a description as you can get about where Hornby's first book for teens falls in his oeuvre so far. The book is filled with his characteristic wit, insight, and appealingly quirky characters -- especially Sam, who thinks Tony Hawk is a god, and who gets all the advice he needs by talking to Hawk's poster.

Adult authors often stumble when they try to tackle writing a kids' book. But given the kinds of books Hornby has been writing, perhaps it should be no surprise that his first YA novel is so well done.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate