Noggin

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Sixteen-year-old Travis Coates has leukemia and he knows his time is limited. When a cryogenic group approaches him and his family with the possibility that he might be able to come back, they decide the risk is worth it.  Travis literally loses his head.  Doctors surgically remove his head and freeze it where it waits for five long years.  Before the surgery Travis has to say goodbye to his girlfriend, Cate, and learns through a revealing deathbed conversation with his best friend Kyle that Kyle is gay. When a life is ending, the truths come a-gathering.

When Travis wakes up five years later, his frozen head has been attached to the body of another boy who died of a brain tumor.  It's a good body and in fact it's even taller than his original body.  Travis begins life again trying to adjust to a new body, a girlfriend who is engaged to be married to someone else and a best friend, Kyle, who has never told anyone else his secret and his now trying to deceive himself and the rest of the world by dating a girl.

Who are we really?  Are we our brains or our bodies or a combination of both?  Has Travis become someone else or is he still the same old guy?  

This is a tremendous coming-of-age story about a guy who is now living five years behind everyone he knows and cares about.  He's sixteen.  They are all twenty-one.  Will he be able to catch up with Cate and regain her love?  Will he be able to convince Kyle that coming out of the closet is for the best?

Five years ago everyone had to let go of Travis.  Now, he's back and everyone is struggling to figure out where he belongs in their lives and the person who struggles the most is that celebrity everyone knows, the guy with the stitches in his neck, Travis Coates.

978-1442458727   Grades 9-12    340 pages

Recommended by:  Barb, abookandahug.com

*****

Strange but moving, wildly inventive and brutally honest, daring, scary and wonderful,  Noggin is a story that will pull at readers' heartstrings.
Travis Coates is sick...really, really sick and dying. When doctors approach him and his parents with the idea of saving his life...well, somewhere down the line, Travis is willing to take that chance. Upon Travis's demise, his head will be saved and frozen with the hope that some day in the future, doctors can attach it to a new body, and Travis can begin life again.Five years pass and Travis wakes up. The trouble is--time has passed for everyone but Travis. Friends have graduated and started their new lives, yet Travis is still in high school. His girlfriend Cate  is engaged to another man. His phone calls to her and friend Kyle  go unanswered. His parents tell him not to worry--that they will come around; they just need time.Travis becomes a media darling. Reporters and camera people follow him to school. They all want to get a glimpse of the boy who died. Only one other person has gone through a procedure like Travis, and his doctor thinks it's a good idea for Travis and Lawrence to talk about their experiences.Readers will empathize with Travis and his loneliness. He wishes everything to be how it was before he got sick. Time has passed and people change. He is going to have to accept the change, for better or worse and figure out a way to live with it.Matthew Quick (author of The Silver Linings Playbook says, "The absolute best head-transplant-surgery love story I've ever read and instantly one of my favorite young adult novels. You can practically feel this book's big beautiful heart beating in your hands."A must read for everyone grade 9-up. Some sex, talk of sex, death and dying, life and living.

340 pages  Ages  14 and up  9781442458727Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA

*******

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