When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to get in shape and get the girl. Summer goals: lose the milkshake weight, join the football team, and turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.
But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-baked weed-dealing schemes, Matty’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. When on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matty suddenly has much bigger things to worry about than football and whether or not Cassie’s going to call him back. And it turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.
Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing… even when you’re not sure what that is.
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How To Be Manly is a highly engaging book about navigating teenage years. I am not sure what I was expecting going into this book, but it far exceeded my expectations. Matty’s story put me right back in high school. Especially trying to pass remedial Algebra and trying to navigate the social scene when your body is not what would be called the norm. I loved the wit and humor infused in this book. I’m going to be passing this along to my kids to read (14 & 16) because I think it will show them the humor in teen age years. Teen age years are all about learning from your mistakes and finding your place in the world. Although Matty doesn’t always make the best decisions, he’s a good kid. That what counts.
Meet the Author:
Maureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years. She loves high school football, but only when she happens to teach at least half of the players on the field.
Her short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle.
Maureen writes articles about issues in education for local and national publications. She also muses about inspirations for a writer’s life in Friday Free Topic at http://maureenoleary.wordpress.com.
How To Be Manly is her first novel.
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