Fifteen-year-old Steven needs to explain something— everything—to his sister, Sam. She needs to know about Jenny from his new high school, and how the freckles on her arm make his synapses go crazy. She needs to know about eighteen-year old dropout Byron, all his fascinating ideas about chaos and coolness and trying to keep it together. And she definitely needs to know about what drastic measures Steven is now considering and why. He needs to get this all down, so that some day Sam'll know what happened to him—to all of them—last December.
Matt Beam, the young author of a children’s novel Getting to First Base with Donalda Chase, is a freelance journalist who lives in Toronto.
“Few hockey players see the ice perfectly; fewer writers see everything in the world they play in; Matt Beam has a fine eye for the game—and an excellent one for the game of real life.” - Roy MacGregor, author of The Screech Owls Mystery Series
“Matt Beam has established himself as an insightful chronicler of the adolescent male experience.” - Canadian Children’s Book News
“The contrivance of the novel-as story, ‘letter or whatever’—works brilliantly, because Steven is an intelligent, likable character with an utterly fresh and original voice.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Beam offers a quiet, accurate, fully sketched portrait of an adolescent male facing life’s challenges.” - Booklist
“Author Matt Beam is able to portray the hopes and fears of an adolescent boy with both accuracy and empathy and leads Steven and the reader through this emotional labyrinth to a satisfying conclusion.” - CM Magazine
“Matt Beam has done an excellent job capturing the uncertainty and turmoil of adolescence. […] Beam blends humorous situations with highly dramatic and emotionally powerful moments, and he creates suspense that builds until the very last pages, urging his audience to read on.” - ALAN Online
“The narrative's combination of raw language and poetic insight rings true.” - The Horn Book Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Books
“The style of writing is right on mark; all teenagers will be able to identify with what Steven is going through and sometimes, perhaps, that is all a reader might need to realize that what they are going through is normal as well.” - Children's Literature
“The author skillfully weaves Steven’s journey from hopelessness to acceptance of circumstances […]. This title will be great for bibliotherapy with students who are experiencing multiple stresses in their adolescent lives.” - Library Media Connection