Nate Foster is a young teen who constantly feels stifled by his family and peers. He has a deep passion for theatre, but the people around him discourage him from this endeavor. Despite all of the demotivation Nate is subjected to, he pulls through and leaves town to realize his dreams.
Author Tim Federle released “Better Nate Than Ever” in 2013, and the book has helped encourage many teenagers over the past decade. The story has made such an impact that it will now become a musical with Disney+. This article will look at some of the fundamental aspects of Nate’s story that many adolescents can relate to.
Nate doesn’t get along very well in school or at home. His peers lambast him with homophobic remarks on a daily basis, and they treat him as if he won’t amount to anything. Many would say that the best way to help teens circumvent this is by getting them involved in clubs and activities that focus on their interests, but Nate’s parents don’t think this way. Instead, they push him to be an athlete like his older brother, not caring that he has no interest in this.
Nate feels self-conscious and unworthy due to the constant mistreatment he endures, and he doesn’t feel comfortable confiding in his parents. He knows that his older brother is the favorite and that his family is generally too closed-minded for his “outlandish” ideas. The one person Nate can confide in is his friend, Libby. Libby fills the gap that Nate’s parents and older brother leave since she acts as both a peer and a mentor.
Nate and Libby eventually sneak out and travel to Manhattan, where Nate plans to finally audition for Broadway. The pair comes across many pitfalls along the way, which tend to be funny and add a light-hearted element to the story. When Nate tries auditioning, he’s forced to overcome his self-doubt and fear of rejection. Things do not go smoothly at first, but Nate ultimately wins people over with the same traits that got him ostracized in Pennsylvania.
“Better Nate Than Ever” is packed with valuable themes that teens and parents can learn from. Almost everyone has felt down on themselves at some point in their lives, but the most important thing is learning how to leverage strengths and weaknesses. In Nate’s case, things that appeared to be weaknesses in one area become strengths in another.