Restart by Gordon Korman is my penultimate Nutmeg nominee.
Chase Ambrose goes from star football player to amnesia patient after a nasty fall from his roof. He can’t remember anything from before his fall, but his classmates sure do. He was one of the school’s worst bullies along with his two best buddies. Now he isn’t able to play football due to concussion protocol. He finds himself hanging out with the very kids he used to terrorize while still trying to keep a foot in his former life, all while trying to remember what happened before the fall.
Major changes in his character include becoming a member of the film club, as well as befriending a war veteran at the senior living facility. This facility is the same spot where Chase and his football buddies were doing community service for a terrible bullying prank.
His football friends think he might be faking the whole thing for his own gain. It all comes to a head when they devise a way to implicate Chase in another bullying episode.
Will he resort to his former antics or has he truly changed? What caused him to fall in the first place? This is a solid middle school read including relatable topics and important themes such as standing up for oneself and making positive changes.