2014 National Book Award Finalist, Young People's Literature

John Corey Whaley

Noggin by John Corey Whaley John Corey Whaley Noggin

Atheneum Books for Young Readers/ Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1442458727


While Noggin’s premise blends Rip Van Winkle with science fiction, John Corey Whaley’s contemporary novel is a thoughtful and humorous story of love and friendship. Travis Coates, a teenager whose head was detached from his cancer-ridden body, frozen, and attached to another body five years later, attempts to reconnect with family and friends, all of whom have moved on with their lives. It is a tale of wisdom, compassion, and the occasional cluelessness of youth.


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 16 and 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, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.


John Corey Whaley was a 2011 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree for his debut novel, Where Things Come Back, which also was a Michael L. Printz Winner. His favorite word is “defenestration.” His favorite color is green. His favorite smell is books. He currently lives in Los Angeles.


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