A “funny and sweetly oddball” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) novel about an odd-couple friendship formed by a mission to make their high school to suck less, for readers “seeking doors to the universe" (Booklist, starred review) and a razor sharp, moving, and outrageously funny read.
Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he’s so enormous—6’6” and 250 pounds to be exact. He has nobody at school, and life in his trailer-park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother’s suicide. And there’s no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback Aaron Zimmerman, who after a near-death experience claims God gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there’s only one person who can help: Neanderthal.
To his own surprise, Cliff says he’s in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS, Cliff feels like he’s part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn’t as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they’ve completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.