CANCELLED – Matt Blackstone

Thursday, October 27, 7pm-Fiction
CANCELLED – Matt Blackstone author of A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie ($16.99 Farrar Straus)

Rene, an obsessive-compulsive fourteen year old, smells his hands and wears a Batman cape when he’s nervous. If he picks up a face-down coin, moves a muscle when the time adds up to thirteen (7:42 is bad luck because 7 + 4 + 2 = 13), or washes his body parts in the wrong order, Rene or someone close to him will break a bone, contract a deadly virus, and/or die a slow and painful death like someone in a scary scene in scary movie. Rene’s new and only friend tutors him in the art of playing it cool, but that’s not as easy as Gio makes it sound.

Matt Blackstone joined Teach for America after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, and presently teaches high school English in the South Bronx. He lives in New York City


“Blackstone keeps things fresh with insight and wit… achingly real…PRETTY DARN B’NOODLES.” — Booklist

“Quirky and surprisingly upbeat, it’s Rene’s voice laughing at himself and yet taking his needs seriously that will lure readers into his head and into his heart.” –School Library Journal

“Charmingly heartbreaking…filled with moments that will make you literally laugh out loud. The contrast in style between Rene’s anxious explanations and Gio’s chilled-out view of the world draws you into their equally troubled lives completely.” –SEVENTEEN Magazine

“Blackstone makes a bold and idiosyncratic debut with this boisterous novel. Honest…humorous…compelling.” –Publishers Weekly

“Many teens will recognize someone they know in Rene and gain some understanding of the kid who does not fit in.” –VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)


“For as long as I can remember, I liked writing stories.  In elementary school, they were about tooth fairies and snap bracelets and wrestling buddies.  And about how I loved to steal rocks from the neighbor’s front yard and bash them with a hammer to see the crystals inside, which I thought were real crystals and worth bajillions of dollars, so I couldn’t wait to sell them and buy a baseball stadium and a pool and, because I’d be a wise, responsible bijillionaire, I’d invest in baseball cards. Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards. Well, Ken Griffey Jr. retired after allegedly falling asleep during his own game.  His cards are now worth a few bucks.  And those rocks, the ones I stole, the ones with the crystals inside . . . they’re just rocks.  So I’m sorta glad those stories didn’t come true, because, honestly, it would suck to lose a bajillion dollars. Anyway, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and teaching high school English in Baltimore and the Bronx for seven years, my debut novel, A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE, about a runaway teen with obsessive-compulsive disorder, was released July 5th with Farrar, Straus & Giroux (FSG).”

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