Day 6: “Nothing Special” is actually something quite special

Each day leading up to the April 13 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2013 Young People’s Literature Finalist:

Nothing Special by Geoff HerbachNothing Special by Geoff Herbach
Published by Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks, Inc.
Category Sponsor: Sit Investment Associates

The second installment in Geoff Herbach’s Stupid Fast Series, Nothing Special continues the story of star athlete Felton Reinstein over the summer as he travels to Florida to find his brother. Told completely in letters written by Felton to his girlfriend, Aleah, Felton’s travels help him to slowly realize that the things he does and the things that are happening to him are not without consequence.

Excerpt from Nothing Special:

August 15, 12:45 p.m.

Airplane to Chicago

Holy Balzac. I’m a tremendous dork. When the plane took off, I totally whooped. Like, “Wooo-hoo! Yeah!” Everybody turned and looked at me.

Planes are very, very fast. Exciting.


I wish I could act like I look. I’m a big-looking man, Aleah—I know that from seeing pictures of me—but I feel like a dumb little kid a lot (and act like one). It was awesome taking off. Am I a dumb little kid?

Geoff Herbach Geoff Herbach is the author of the award-winning Stupid Fast YA series. His books have been given the 2011 Cybils Award for best YA novel, selected for the Junior Library Guild, listed in the year’s best by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and many state library associations. In the past, he wrote the literary novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, produced radio comedy shows and toured rock clubs telling weird stories. Geoff teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. He lives in a log cabin with a tall wife.


“Felton’s voice is fresh and believable as a teen on the edge of manhood. Boys especially will discover kindred spirits in Felton and Andrew. Kudos to Herbach for this deep, moving, LOL funny, and completely original story.” — School Library Journal

“In the tradition of great young adult protagonists, like Holden Caulfield and Eric ‘Moby’ Calhoune come Fenton Reinstein, soon to be sixteen… Surprises abound in this future youth classic.”— VOYA

Nothing Special is the sequel to Stupid Fast (Sourcebooks, 2011/Voya June 2011) in which Geoff Herbach continues the story of Felton Reinstein’s rise to athletic infamy. The story is told by Felton as a letter to his girlfriend—an apology, really—while he tries to make it down to Florida before he has to return for the first football game of his senior season. Felton walks Aleah through his quest to discover where his fourteen-year-old brother has disappeared to, because he is certain it is not orchestra camp on Lake Michigan. Struggling with his talented, suicidal father’s legacy, Felton and Andrew find different ways to make their own happiness in life. Herbach succeeds in portraying the stress and confusion facing Felton as he tries to decide what to do with his talent and with his life.”— Kirkus Reviews


Watch the trailer for the first book in the series, Stupid Fast.

Award winners will be announced at the 25th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Hilton Minneapolis. An author meet-and-greet and book signing reception precedes the awards ceremony, and the Epilogue after-party, sponsored by Tech Logic, includes complimentary champagne, desserts, and live music. Tickets on sale now. Click here for more information.

Have you read Nothing Special?  What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!

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Posted in Young People's Literature

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