These reviews have been copied from the New York Public Library’s Website – http://www.nypl.org
School Library Journal
SLJ Reviews 2014 February
Gr 5–8—In this encore to Better Nate Than Ever (S & S, 2013), small-town theater geek Nate Foster finds himself in New York City after landing an understudy part in E.T.: The Musical. Everything he’s ever studied, including practicing his own autograph, has prepared him for this. From hiding from bullies in the boys’ bathroom in the first book, Nate has moved on to more grown-up problems-his voice decides to change during his solo tryout and he’s dealing with secret admirers. He backs up all of his emotions and each action with a musical soliloquy, quoting from plays, scripts, and Tony-winning shows. But everything is not all glitz and mirrored disco balls, as he soon learns. Conversations with Libby, his best friend back home, keep him grounded. Everyone could use a little more glitter in their lives, and Nate shares his with those who are willing to celebrate that being an understudy can one day earn you top billing.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH
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Booklist Reviews 2013 December #2
In his Better Nate Than Ever (2013) premiere, eighth-grader Nate Foster beat the odds to land a small part in ET: The Musical. Now, act 2 of his adventures begins as he prepares to leave Nowheresville, PA, behind for Broadway. As an understudy without much experience outside of his own dreams, Nate is self-conscious and insecure about life on the Great White Way, especially since the star of the show is one of the richest, most talented, and best looking guys from his same small town. But he’s also determined, and with the support of his best friend, who is just a text message away, and his aunt, who is the only one in his family who understands him, Nate presses on through the comedy, drama, and romance of five weeks of rehearsals—right to the tragedy and triumph of opening night. Readers will cheer Nate along while also relating to him because, as Nate sagely observes, Broadway is just “like a junior high school cafeteria but with more glitter.” Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
The Horn Book
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
Nate successfully auditioned for Broadway’s E.T.: The Musical in Better Nate Than Ever. Of course, he’s actually only an understudy’s understudy, his chorus part keeps diminishing, and rehearsals are going poorly, but good-humored Nate takes it all in stride. Federle addresses his likable character’s burgeoning interest in boys in a laudably straightforward way, making this entertaining backstage pass especially rewarding.
PW Reviews 2013 November #1
This sequel to Federle’s charming debut, Better Nate Than Ever, finds 13-year-old Nate Foster with a part on Broadway in E.T.: The Musical. Arriving from small-town Pennsylvania, Nate is ready to have his horizons expanded, but not every new experience delights: power struggles and personality clashes add pressure to the fast-tracked rehearsal schedule. (The territory disputes remind Nate of a “junior high school cafeteria but with more glitter.”) He must also make peace with his own diminishing role: the choreographers have no use for a pudgy kid who can’t dance, and it turns out Nate isn’t E.T.’s understudy, he’s E.T.’s understudy’s understudy. Readers learn a bit more about Aunt Heidi, but Nate’s parents remain offstage, and best friend Libby appears mostly on Skype, often with bad news about her mother’s health. Even the large, colorful cast of the show can’t deprive Nate of the spotlight in this funny, tender coming-of-age story, which doubles as an insider account about growing up on stage that will appeal to every budding theater geek. Encore! Ages 10–14. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Jan.)
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