Pinch Me

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Darius Zaire can’t seem to wake up. And he really really wants to.

The planet’s biggest teen pop sensation, seventeen year-old Darius falls out of bed after another big night of girls, music and booze only to land on the cruddy floor of his old bedroom in his single mom’s crumbling townhouse. No mansion, no collection of luxury cars, no platinum records.

Worst of all—no Darius. Because before Darius Zaire was his sensational self, he was ordinary Darren Zegers, a not very popular, dyslexic band nerd who was crushing on Susan Koh and failing grade nine English. And now some kind of nightmare has erased everything that happened to change Darren the dweeb to Darius the multi-millionaire superstar. The years still passed, just not the glamourous ones he thought he’d had.

When his mom shoves Darius onto the school bus, he has to face an ordinary day in grade twelve, suffering through remedial English and wondering what has happened to the last four years, and all his fans and money. Darius desperately wants to wake up but as the day progresses he starts to worry that maybe this is reality and his other life was the dream.

Honors and Awards

Included  on the list of Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s BEST BOOKS FOR KIDS AND TEENS for Fall 2017


“Prendergast’s hi lo novel is an interesting sci-fi adventure that hold the reader’s interest from start to finish…Pinch Me would be an excellent read for struggling teenage boys who would be hooked by the music industry premise. Highly recommended.” CM Magazine

“Darius’ confusion in the alternate reality in which he finds himself creates many amusing and poignant scenes…The first person tense creates an urgent tone that will draw readers along, while Darius’ inner dialogue demonstrates his changing values without slowing down the pace. Several thoughtful, serious themes emerge.” Resource Links – April 15, 2017

Classroom Materials

Teacher’s Guide