Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston NortonNeanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe

byPreston Norton

Hardcover | June 5, 2018

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Perfect for fans of John Green and Becky Albertalli,Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universeis a "sneakily thought-provoking" and "utterly unforgettable" must-read for every fan of contemporary YA.
Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.
There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.
To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.
Razor sharp, moving, and outrageously funny,Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universeis an unforgettable story of finding your place in an imperfect world.
Preston Norton is:bisexual, slightly genderqueer, married. His partner, Erin, is trying to put him on a diet, and he's revolting (both contexts apply). He has taught seventh grade and ninth grade English, mentored drug addicts, and mowed lawns (in no particular order). He is obsessed with2001: A Space Odysseyand Quentin Tarantino.
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Title:Neanderthal Opens the Door to the UniverseFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 8.62 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:June 5, 2018Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1484790626

ISBN - 13:9781484790625

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Loved This Book I devoured this book. It was so good and I loved the characters. I've been recommending it to everyone.
Date published: 2018-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent read - one that found me - and I'm glad it did Preston Norton's newest book, Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe, releases Tuesday June 5/18. Now, you might be saying to yourself - with a title like that, what could this book possibly be about? No, it's not a time travelling cave man. Instead, we meet high school student Cliff Hubbard, AKA Neanderthal, based on his 6'6", 250 lb. frame. Neanderthal is not one of the popular kids at Happy Valley High School. And he's not happy - his brother committed suicide, his father is an alcoholic and his mother seems to be simply existing and turning a blind eye. And school is no better. Aaron is the cool kid at school. But, when he suffers a head injury at football, he wakes up saying he saw God and God gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High School a better place. God also said that Neanderthal is the one to help him with the list. This unlikely pair do team up to tackle the list - and much more. I have to say up front that I really enjoyed Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. I liked the premise and I was really drawn to the characters, especially Cliff. Norton gives us a large and varying cast of supporting players that pretty much illustrate a high school and the social strata. You'll have no problem deciding who you're behind - and who you can't stand. (Esther is especially despicable) Norton captures the thoughts, angst, hopes, dreams and disappointments of teens through all of his characters, but Cliff's are especially poignant. I loved the voice Norton has given him. Those currently in school will identify and those of us long past school will remember those days through Cliff's trials and triumphs. "Some of us are barely swimming, some of us are drowning, and there are some of us still who are being tossed in waves and dashed upon the rocks. And often we feel that we won’t survive. Maybe that ocean is school, and we’re struggling to get descent grades, or to fit in, or maybe we’re just trying to survive the hurtful words and actions of people who don’t understand their own cruelty." The journey to fulfill the list takes Cliff and company on a journey that touches on and explores friendship, families, relationships, love, hate, grief, drugs, drinking, sex, mental health, bullying, homophobia and more. Some of it may not be for the younger end of the teen set. Norton tells his story with lots of humour - some of it is a bit over the top, as are some situations, but it suits Norton's writing style. Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe moves along very quickly and is an infectious read. (It will also break your heart in places.) Cliff's revelations and resolutions are relatable for anyone, regardless of age. An excellent read - one that found me - and I'm glad it did.
Date published: 2018-06-05

Editorial Reviews

"Laugh-out-loud. Funny, well-plotted and sneakily thought-provoking."-School Library Journal