Book - 2013
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Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781442444928
Branch Call Number: TF Realist Smit
Characteristics: 438 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.


From the critics

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May 09, 2017

I really loved this book. It was so funny and honest. I was really impressed with the way Smith made all the characters (even the girls, which is often difficult for a male author to do) seem like real people.
I laughed a lot. Which is always fun.The ending killed me though.

It's funny because I went into the book expecting a tragedy because that's what I heard in the reviews, but it still felt like being hit by a truck.

I finished reading this book in my first hour at school too, so it was not my most productive school day.

Still, this book gets a 5/5 for an hilarious and heartbreaking story.

Kereesa Feb 04, 2016

This book made me angry.

I won't say why for spoiler reasons, but the ending felt like a giant white wash of the big twist and the big twist itself felt like it was only included to make you cry.

Nice try.

LPL_KimberlyL Nov 09, 2015

I did not expect to like this book as much as I did! Ryan Dean (or Winger as he is nicknamed) is one of the most, if not the most, realistic portrayals of a young teenage boy I've read in fiction. He is oddly charming, infuriating, hilarious, and incredibly lovable. I laughed out loud more times than I can count while reading this book, but what really got me was the ending. I knew it was coming, and even though I predicted what was going to happen... It was still like being punched in the gut. Oh, the feels! This book will make you fall in love, and then break your heart. But in the end, it's totally worth it.

PimaLib_PamP May 08, 2015

The author of Winger, Andrew Smith, was interviewed by students at the Tucson Festival of Books. Listen to his interview here:

Mar 22, 2015

This book is a living and breathing fourteen year old boy. Smith's novel Winger is very different from his other books. Ryan Dean West might possibly be one of his most fleshed out and unique character, someone you can't help but root for. Despite the charm this book has, the ending was horrifically sad and real. It was an ending that was truly haunting. So while this novel might seem like a light read at first just be warned that you will walk away from this novel with a trash bin full of tissues.

BCD2013 Jun 06, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Ryan Dean West is playing on the rugby team, living in the dorm for troublemakers, and in love with his best friend.
- Andrea Lipinski

Mar 13, 2014

This is really one of the best books I've ever read. It got me laughing to making me sadder than I've ever been.

LibraryK8 Dec 24, 2013

Ryan Dean West, Winger to his friends, is determined to take control of his junior year. In the Venn diagram of life, most people overlap, or at least most junior guys at Winger's school, it is that little crescent outside that makes us stand out. For Ryan Dean, it is that he is a 14 year old junior, two years younger than his other classmates. That means he doesn't need to shave, hasn't hit his growth spurt, and has no skill with the ladies.

Winger's junior year gets off to a rocky start when he is placed in Opportunity Hall, a dorm for delinquent boys. His year continues to spiral downward as he gets drunk before school even starts, is cursed by the headmaster of the girls dorm downstairs, and has a fight with two of his best friends. And that is just the first few weeks!

Aug 01, 2013

The ending conflict could've been drawn out a little more, but for the most part, Winger balanced humor with serious subjects very well. John Green fans will enjoy this one.

ChristchurchLib Jul 02, 2013

"As the youngest guy in his 11th grade class and the skinniest player on the rugby team, Ryan Dean knows what it's like to be the underdog. His over-the-top attitude gets him in trouble with teachers and sports rivals, and his awkwardness with girls (especially his friend Annie) leads to a lot of hormonal frustration. Like Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Winger offsets angst and tragedy with realistically raunchy teen guy talk and hilarious comics. For a memorable novel with an "unexpectedly ferocious punch" (Booklist), check out Winger." July 2013 Teen Scene newsletter

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olive_bird_01 Jul 22, 2015

Ryan Dean deals with girls, friends and toilet bowl swirlies at his boarding school.

olive_bird_01 Jul 22, 2015

Ryan Dean deals with girls, friends and toilet bowl swirlies at his boarding school.

JCLBethM Jun 25, 2013

14 year-old-boy in a boarding school maturing and learning to get along with others. Startling, realistic twist in the end.


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ArapahoeStaff2 Aug 03, 2016

ArapahoeStaff2 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 01, 2013

stepha89 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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