Stupid Fast, by Geoff Herbach, is one of 20 current nominees for the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers, a teen’s choice book award for high-schoolers. To see the full list or to vote on a Peach nominee, go to www.georgiapeachaward.org.
Felton Reinstein was the skinny, puny guy they called Squirrel Nut. That is, until
Thanksgiving of his sophomore year, when suddenly he’s so hungry he can’t take time to transfer food to the table—he just eats standing in the refrigerator door. And suddenly, he could lie unconscious in his bed every single day until noon (or later). And suddenly, hair is sprouting from him--everywhere.
That’s not all. Felton got fast. Stupid fast. So fast that, in the spring when gym class had to run the 600-yard dash for some physical fitness test thing, he beat all the other kids—even the fast kids. Suddenly, he isn’t Squirrel Nut anymore, and the coach wants him for football, track—you name the sport.
Even though Felton’s gone from joke to jock, it hasn’t made his life any less complicated. His mother is severely depressed. His kid brother is acting stranger than usual, practicing piano and singing off-key for hours. And his best friend, Gus, is in Venezuela for the entire summer.
So when Aleah Jennings, a beautiful piano player even better than his brother, moves into Gus’s house, and Felton goes by on his paper route—he doesn’t even realize he might have a chance with her: “I couldn’t help it; I set down my bike, walked to the door, pulled open the screen, and leaned my head in so I could watch her hit those keys. There was something sort of angry and ferocious in the way she pounded that piano. … My mouth was open and I was probably drooling.”
Will Felton come to terms with his family’s tragedy? Will he be able to hold his family
together? Will he ever stop chewing up the entire contents of the refrigerator? And, what will happen when summer’s over and Aleah moves to Chicago?
Someday, he’ll find out.
Until then, he runs. He runs fast. Stupid fast.
Youth Services Coordinator