Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.
And she completely loved it. But here was my favorite part of dinner last night:
10yo: Mom, that book was so good, but I couldn't figure out one thing: when Nate was at school, some kids were bullying him and calling him gay.
8yo: What's gay?
10yo: You know gay. Like when you love someone who's your same gender.
8yo: Oh, like XX's two moms at church.
10yo: Yeah, or XX's two dads at school. Or mom's friends XX.
8yo: I love someone of my same gender…Dad.
10yo: Dude, not that kind of love. The kind of love where you want to eat someone's mouth. (yes, this is now how my 10yo daughter figures out real love…grumble)
Me: That's right, sort of. So I don't get what the problem with the book was.
10yo: Well, I'm not sure he was gay.
Me: Is that important?
10yo: I guess not. But he's really young, how does he know who he's going to love yet?
Me: I don't know. Some people do know what gender they like, even if they don't know the exact person. But I'm not sure that was the author's point.
10yo: Yeah, it was probably more about the bullying.
8yo: I don't know if I'm going to marry a boy or a girl yet.
5yo: I do. I'm going to marry XX. She's coming to my house on July 17th.
10yo: Dude, you have no idea what you're talking about. Can I have more chicken?
And thus it went. I said almost nothing. My kids figured it all out around me. And I am ever grateful for Tim Federle and his lovely book for starting an awesome discussion.