AUDIO: Slider by Pete Hautman

Review published on January 16, 2018.

An unlikely hero – a wanabee competitive eater – in a surprisingly funny and tender (in more than his stomach!) tale.

David has an overachieving older sister and an autistic younger brother, he’s the middle child and with eating his only real ‘skill’, he determines to make his mark in the world of overeating. Knowing the names, the training tips, the dates of the qualifiers, he begins preparing his body for battle…

With more than just the central premise going on – David has a couple of nicely written friends as ‘sidekicks’, he struggles to help his younger brother Mal fit into society, his attempt to buy a memento on the Internet goes horribly wrong… it’s a busy little book!

His voice is clear – the reader (Audible copy) makes him just the right ‘age’ to listen to: a teenager’s voice that is optimistic and slightly naive at times, but quite clearly becoming his own person. The other voices are well characterised by the same narrator.

I enjoyed the competitive eating scenes, and those with Mal especially, it seems as though research was done into how autistic children both talk and react to situations, and David’s understanding of his brother is very sweet and very true.

Such a lovely conclusion to the story, made my eyes tear up a little.

A book about family, finding your place and knowing what you want. Perfect food for thought (pun intended) for readers aged 11 to 14.

Katy Noyes 5/4

Slider by Pete Hautman
Candlewick Press audiobook Sep 2017

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