Noggin
Noggin

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Annotation: After he died at age sixteen, Travis Coates' head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body; now the old Travis and the new must find a way to coexist, while figuring out relationship changes.
Catalog Number: #97054
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 340 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-442-45873-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85745-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-442-45873-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85745-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013020137
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Losing his battle to terminal cancer, sixteen-year-old Travis opts to have his head stored cryogenically, until some point in the future when medical technology is able to attach it to a new body. That day comes just five years later, but much has changed. Readers will find it easy to become invested in Travis's second coming-of-age--brimming with humor, pathos, and angst.
Kirkus Reviews
The madcap story of a boy who loses his head and finds it again. In the not-too-distant future, 16-year-old Travis Coates loses his head once—literally—after a deadly bout with cancer left him for dead. His head, cryogenically frozen as part of an experimental process to bring cancer victims back to life using donors, is the only thing that's left of him until he wakes up with it attached to the body of Jeremy Pratt in the Saranson Center for Life Preservation five years later. From there on out, Travis' life gets just as crazy as Whaley's bizarre setup. Lots of changes have taken place in five years, and Travis soon finds himself losing his head again, in the figurative sense. He has to drag his best friend back out of the closet, discovers terrible secrets about his parents, and pursues his old girlfriend, who is now 21 and engaged to another, great guy, to readers' cringe-inducing embarrassment on his behalf. Readers will recognize the Printz winner's trademark lovable characterizations in Travis' newfound BFF Hatton, who dubs him "Noggin" on his first day back at school. They'll also recognize the poignantly rendered reflections on life, love, death and everything in between. Weird? Yes. Great? Not quite, but it's pretty solid. It may be convoluted as hell, but Whaley's signature cadence and mad storytelling skillz are worth every page. A satisfyingly oddball Frankenstein-like tale of connectivity. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Like baseball great Ted Williams, Travis Coates has his head surgically removed and cryogenically frozen after he dies (of leukemia at age 16). Unlike Williams, Travis is a fictional character, and five years after his death, technological advances allow doctors to attach his head to a donor body that-s taller and more muscular than the original. Whaley-s second novel (following his Printz-winning Where Things Come Back) is far more concerned with matters of the heart than with how head reattachment surgery would work. Travis awakens to restart where he left off-sophomore year-but everyone he knew has moved on. Best friend Kyle is struggling through college; former girlfriend Cate is engaged to someone else. As only the second cryogenics patient successfully revived, Travis is in uncharted territory; he-s -over- high school, but not ready to be anywhere else. Travis-s comic determination to turn back the hands of time and win Cate-s love is poignant and heartbreaking. 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. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Apr.)

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up&12; Travis Coates, 16, is dying of cancer, so he accepts an offer from a cryogenic group to have his head removed and frozen with the hope that it would be attached to another body in the future and he could be reanimated. Five years later, he "wakes up" with a new body and is still 16. There are a few minor problems with his new life-he is a celebrity/freak and gets more attention than he wants, he has to get used to a body that has different abilities than his old one, and he has to go to school with kids he doesn't know. The biggest problem is that Travis's best friend and his girlfriend are now 21 years old and have moved on with their lives while he feels like he has simply taken a nap. Cate is engaged and not interested in in a relationship with a teenager. Travis is obsessed with the idea that he can win her back and won't accept her repeated "no." He tries various means to convince her that he's still the one for her: some hilarious, some touching, some inappropriate, but all definitely sophomoric. The premise of the story is interesting although far-fetched. The author does a good job of describing the emotions and reactions of all of the characters, but Travis's fixation on Cate becomes tiresome and a plot twist at the end feels like it was thrown in just to make the story longer.&12; Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Travis Coates has lost his head terally. As he dies from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, his head is surgically removed and cryogenically frozen. Five years pass, and, thanks to advances in medical science, it becomes possible to reanimate his head and attach it to a donor body. Travis Coates is alive again, but while his family and friends are all 5 years older, Travis hasn't aged is still 16 and a sophomore in high school. Awkward? Difficult? Puzzling? You bet. In the past, the two people he could have talked to about this were his best friend, Kyle, and his girlfriend, Cate. But now they're part of the problem. Kyle, who came out to Travis on his deathbed, has gone back into the closet, and Cate is engaged to be married. Stubbornly, Travis vows to reverse these developments by coaxing Kyle out of the closet and persuading Cate to fall in love with him again. How this plays out is the substance of this wonderfully original, character-driven second novel. Whaley has written a tour de force of imagination and empathy, creating a boy for whom past, present, and future come together in an implied invitation to readers to wonder about the very nature of being. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich rewards. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Whaley's sleeper debut, Where Things Come Back (2011), won both the Michael L. Printz Award and the William C. Morris Award, so readers will be eagerly awaiting this second effort.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Sixteen-year-old Travis Coates, dying of leukemia, agreed have his head removed and cryogenically preserved for future re-animation. Five years later, Travis awakens after having his head reattached to a sixteen-year-old donor body. Instantly a media sensation, Travis must suddenly cope with the loss of five years of his life and the addition of five years to everyone else's lives. While Travis is stuck repeating his sophomore year in high school, his best friend is now in college and struggling with his sexual identity. Many things have changed, as technology, fashion, and popular culture have left Travis behind. Worst of all, his girlfriend is now getting married to someone else. He even begins to wonder if having been re-animated was a mistake, as he struggles to exist with a new body, new friends, and a new life. The world has moved on; now Travis needs to find the strength to move forward.Whaley's sweet and raunchy first-person narrative provides a thought-provoking look at the notions of self-awareness, the nature of identity, and the angst of a very special teen. The lively, conversational style will engage teen readers in search of an unusual, but relatable, character. At times hilarious and heart-wrenching, Noggin, with its eye-catching cover art, belongs in all library collections serving young adults.Jamie Hansen.
Word Count: 76,659
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 165432 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q62567
Lexile: HL760L

2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

Travis Coates has a good head…on someone else’s shoulders. A touching, hilarious “tour de force of imagination and empathy” (Booklist, starred review) 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.


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