The Deathday Letter

by Shaun David Hutchinson

Oliver Talbott is a sex-obsessed teenage boy (in other words, he notes, typical)... read more

Oliver Talbott is a sex-obsessed teenage boy (in other words, he notes, typical) who has just received his Deathday Letter. Everyone gets one eventually—the form letter that says you have twenty-four hours to live—but like most teens Oliver hadn’t given a though to his own mortality. With his best friend, Shane, and Ronnie, a former best friend/girlfriend whom Oliver still loves (she broke it off because he obsessed to much about sex), Oliver spends his final day in pursuit of experiences he’s never had in Shaun David Hutchinson’s offbeat, funny novel. The list includes thrill-seeking (bridge-jumping, anyone?), drinking, drugs, and maybe, if he’s lucky, sex. But its connections with people that turn out to matter most in a story that never loses its humorous touch even as it begins probing greater depths. Oliver’s parents, his Nana (“seventy-eight years of awesome in this tiny, wrinkly body”), and even his obnoxious younger sisters are all wonderful secondary characters who come through when it matters most: helping Oliver show Ronnie how much she means to him, a fact that turns out to have nothing to do with physical desire. Hutchinson turns an inevitable conclusion into a provocative question that will have readers talking in this distinctive debut. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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