Alan Cole Is Not a Coward (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

While Alan Cole and his two not-friends sit together at lunch, he continually dreams of basic survival. His father's a harsh guy and hates something that happened with his own parents; his brother, Nathan, is a yard beyond the line between sibling antics and bully savageries; and his mother's a shy version of her former loving self. When Nathan discovers Alan has a secret crush on another guy at school, he challenges Alan to a series of impossible tasks to win the right not to be outed. Moving and important, the story sees Alan reluctantly enlisting his eccentric not-friends to help him win Nathan's challenge, though the pressure to fit in by staying quiet might just end up ruining any hope to learn he isn't a coward.


— Todd Wellman


Perfect for fans of Tim Federle and Gary Schmidt, this is a hilarious and poignant tale about the trials of middle school when you're coming of age--and coming out.

Alan Cole can't stand up to his cruel brother, Nathan. He can't escape the wrath of his demanding father, who thinks he's about as exceptional as a goldfish. And--scariest of all--he can't let the cute boy across the cafeteria know he has a crush on him.

But when Nathan discovers Alan's secret, his older brother announces a high-stakes round of Cole vs. Cole. Each brother must complete seven nearly impossible tasks; whoever finishes the most wins the game. If Alan doesn't want to be outed to all of Evergreen Middle School, he's got to become the most well-known kid in school, get his first kiss, and stand up to Dad. Alan's determined to prove--to Nathan, to the world, to himself--that this goldfish can learn to swim.

May the best Cole win.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062567024
ISBN-10: 0062567020
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 272
Language: English