Acting upBook - 2010
Sam Foster is the hero of this YA comic novel by Ted Staunton. He's six foot four, and over his high school years has adopted the Slouch - an attempt to draw less attention to himself in crucial situations. In school, for example, or when walking with friends who are much shorter. Sam's got talent - he's the drummer in a rock band named ADHD, and he's also a sometime assistant to Hope Springs' registered eccentric/blowhard J. Earl Good enough. What Sam has to figure out is how to show sufficient responsibility to finally reach the heights of "maturity" his parents hold out as a measure. Dealing with his anarchistic girlfriend Martha is one challenge - she loves breaking all the rules. In addition there are the normal hazards of drinking too much before the school dance, getting his drivers' permit, deserving the trust of his parents when they leave him and his friend Darryl alone for the weekend, completing all the volunteer hours he needs to acquire before graduation - and stick handling his way by the oppressive Mr. Tegwar, surely one of the least appealing of teachers at the high school. Sam's worst fear is letting people down - which of course means letting himself down as well. By the end of this comic novel, Sam has figured out a number of things - among them that he and his girl friend are not suited to each other, and that adults are not always as mature as they appear to be. He has absorbed some of the rules for achieving maturity, though he has not yet reached that pinnacle.