Jan 8, 2013

Tween Tuesday: 33 Minutes by Todd Hasak-Lowy

4 chocolate no-bakes.

Cover Love:
This is a cute, bright cover.  And the airplane has something to do with the reason Morgan wants to kick Sam's butt.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
A middle grade book about friendships falling apart?  Always good for me to read and review so I can book talk it to students!  Here's the sysnopsis from GoodReads:
Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked in exactly 33 minutes. He knows this because yesterday his former best friend Morgan Sturtz told him, to his face and with three witnesses nearby, “I am totally going to kick your butt tomorrow at recess.”

All that’s standing between Sam and this unfortunate butt-kicking is the last few minutes of social studies, and his lunch period. But how did Sam and Morgan end up here? How did this happen just a few months after TAMADE (The Absolutely Most Amazing Day Ever) when they became the greatest Alien Wars video game team in the history of great Alien Wars teams? Was it when new kid Chris showed up and suddenly Morgan kept having other plans on the weekend? Or when Morgan joined the football team while Sam became a star Mathlete?

And when it really comes down to it, will Morgan actually go through with it?

Told with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and achingly real emotional truth, 33 minutes shows how the best of friendships can change forever.
Romance?:  No, but a little crush.

My Thoughts:
There are quite a few books out there about how best friendships grow apart when kids hit middle school, but most of those are from the point of view of girls.  This one is how male friendships grow apart also.  Sam is a brainiac and Morgan is a jock.  The writing is on the wall for this friendship, however it was hurried along by the addition of Chris, a truly horrible boy who befriends Morgan and eggs his dislike of Sam along.  (I think that's one of the reasons I like the movie & book Christine so well--a jock who has stuck by his brainiac friend all through high school)

It happens, friends grow apart, but Sam doesn't want to go away silently.  He acknowledges that there were cracks in the friendship long before the incident, but this was the best friend he had ever had and he didn't want to give it up.  I would love to hear all this from Morgan's point of view, because from what we saw, Morgan was much quicker to throw this friendship away.  It made me very sad for Sam, but also for Morgan.

I would also like to know why Chris disliked Sam so much.  It's easy for us, as grown ups, to look back and say "he's jealous of Sam."  But, I don't think it was that for Chris.  I just think he was a rotten kid.

I cried a bit at the end, but overall there is a lot of humor in this book!

To Sum Up:  An fun, yet emotional, look at male friendships in middle school.  Excellent addition to my middle school library!

egalley requested and received from Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss.  Thanks!
Tween Tuesday is hosted by the Green-Bean-Teen-Queen.  Check her out here!


  1. Summary reminds me of the movie 3 o'clock High. In this one the bully promises to beat a boy up at 3pm, and he tries all day to avoid the fight.

    1. I remember that movie. Yes there are similarities, but this is much more about a friendship breaking up than a bully threatening fighting. There were some choked up moments on my part whilst reading!