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Extended Audio Sample Noggin, by John Corey Whaley Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Corey Whaley Narrator: Kirby Heyborne Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Travis Coates has a good head … on someone else’s shoulders. From John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award–winning Where Things Come Back, comes a touching, hilarious, and wholly original coming-of-age story.

Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.
Now he’s alive again.
Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Whaley’s themes…and characterizations are strong…If [Noggin]had no time-shifting or cryogenics—if it were about a kid who, say, returned to school after a couple of years abroad—I’d still recommend it, thanks to Whaley’s prose. But the transplanted head is a fine bonus.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This new novel by the Printz Award-winning author frames its story about the weird in-between time of adolescence with a weird tale from the future of science. Editor’s recommendation.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “Travis’ comic determination to turn back the hands of time…is poignant and heartbreaking. His status in limbo will resonate with teens who feel the same frustration at being treated like kids and told to act like adults.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Whaley has written a tour de force of imagination and empathy, creating a boy for whom past, present, and future come together in an implied invitation to readers to wonder about the very nature of being. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich rewards.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The premise of the story is interesting…The author does a good job of describing the emotions and reactions of all of the characters.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Readers will find it easy to become invested in Travis’ second coming-of age—brimming with humor, pathos, and angst—and root for him to make peace with his new life.”

    Horn Book

  • “Whaley’s sweet and raunchy first-person narrative provides a thought-provoking look at the notions of self-awareness, the nature of identity, and the angst of a very special teen. The lively, conversational style will engage teen readers in search of an unusual, but relatable, character…Hilarious and heart wrenching.”


  • “The madcap story of a boy who loses his head and finds it again…Readers will recognize the Printz winner’s trademark lovable characterizations…They’ll also recognize the poignantly rendered reflections on life, love, death, and everything in between…Whaley’s signature cadence and mad storytelling skills are worth every page. A satisfyingly oddball Frankenstein-like tale of connectivity.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Kirby Heyborne embodies every aspect of Travis: his bewilderment at his best friend’s return to the closet, his denial of his girlfriend’s upcoming nuptials, his disgust at finding his own ashes secretly stored at home in an urn, and his horror and sadness at discovering his parents’ divorce. Set against all these obstacles is the unwaveringly lovable voice of Travis’ new best friend, Hatton, who dubs him ‘Noggin.’ Heyborne grounds each of Travis’ head and body jokes with a touch of sarcasm, making the unbelievable seem plausible.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, April 2014
  • A BookPage Top Pick for Teens, April 2014
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books for Kids & Teens, April 2014
  • Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
  • A 2014 New York Times Book Review Notable Book for Young Adults
  • A Barnes & Noble Editor’s Recommendation
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