2004 Michael L Printz Honor Book
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy's dad thinks Curt's a drug addict and Troy's brother thinks Troy's the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can't play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy's own life, forever.
I didn’t want to like this book, but it grew on me and it ended up giving me warm fuzzies by the end. Unfortunately, I’ve let a little too much time go between reading it and trying to write about it, and I’m at a loss as to what to say about it.
I might be making this up, but it seems like an overly large proportion of the books I’ve read for this project have taken place in NYC. Don’t get me wrong, I love New York City as a place to visit, but I’m not sure I’d want to live there, or try to raise kids there. But I bet there are plenty of people who look at the life I lead in Iowa and wonder how I survive without Big City Opportunities.
(The answer is, just fine. I have the Internet. And books.)
As with many of the books that are honored by the Printz awards, this book is full of stuff that us parents probably wish our kids didn’t know about, like sex and drugs, as well as things we wish they didn’t have to worry about, like body issues and death. There’s a lot of hope in this book, too, though, and humor, and that’s the kind of thing that kids who are dealing with scary stuff need to hear about.