Summary and book reviews of Noggin by John Whaley

Noggin

By John C. Whaley

Noggin
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2014,
    352 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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Book Summary

Travis Coates has a good head…on someone else's shoulders. A touching, hilarious, and wholly original coming-of-age story from John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award–winning Where Things Come Back.

Listen - Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn't.
Now he's alive again.
Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy's body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

CHAPTER ONE
ADVANCED STUDIES IN CRANIAL REANIMATION

Listen—I was alive once and then I wasn't. Simple as that. Now I'm alive again. The in-between part is still a little fuzzy, but I can tell you that, at some point or another, my head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado.

You might have done it too. The dying part, I mean. Or the choosing-to-die part, anyway. They say we're the only species on the planet with the knowledge of our own impending doom. It's just that some of us feel that doom a lot sooner than expected. Trust me when I tell you that everything can go from fine and dandy to dark and depressing faster than you can say "acute lymphoblastic leukemia."

The old me got so sick so fast that no one really had time to do anything but talk about how sick he got and how fast he got that way. And the chemo and the radiation and the bone marrow transplants didn't do anything but make him sicker faster and with much more ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

With incredible creativity, sharp humor, and deep empathy, John Whaley creates a story that is much less about the science fiction of coming back to life and more about living life in the present.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

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Media Reviews
School Library Journal

The premise of the story is interesting. . . . The author does a good job of describing the emotions and reactions of all of the characters.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. His status in limbo will resonate with teens who feel the same frustration at being treated like kids and told to act like adults. Ages 14–up.

Booklist

Starred Review. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich rewards.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. A satisfyingly oddball Frankenstein-like tale of connectivity.

VOYA

At times hilarious and heart-wrenching, Noggin, with its eye-catching cover art, belongs in all library collections serving young adults.

The Horn Book

Readers will find it easy to become invested in Travis's second coming-of age—brimming with humor, pathos, and angst—and root for him to make peace with his new life.

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Cryonics

In John Corey Whaley's young adult novel, Noggin, 16 year-old Travis Coates undergoes a head transplant. Yes, a head transplant. As in his head is severed from his old body and reattached to a new body. Sounds like science fiction, right? It is…sort of. Cryogenics is the branch of physics that deals with the study of the production and behavior of materials at very low temperatures. Cryonics is the low-temperature preservation of humans in the hopes that they can be resuscitated and healed in the future.

In July 2002, Red Sox legend Ted Williams (The Kid) died at the age of 83. He lived in Florida. His 1996 will stated that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes spread over one of his favorite Florida Keys fishing holes with ...

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