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Gut Check



by
Eric Kester

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
ISBN
9780374307622
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Marijuana Use, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Strong Language, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use
$16.20   $13.50
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Sports High

Wyatt has wanted nothing more than to play football on Grayport's championship-winning team. But not for the fame, glory, or girls. It's his last chance to build a relationship with his older brother Brett, the star quarterback, before he leaves for college. Now that their team has gained national attention, a big win could be just what the small town needs in order to rebound from a fishing season that has been devastated by Red Tide. But when Brett suffers a terrible concussion, Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother's secret is worth risking his scholarship future.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Marijuana Use, Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Strong Language, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

304

Trim Size

8" x 5"

Dewey

F

AR

6.3: points 12

Lexile

950L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

18

JLG Release

Nov 2019

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction, Sports Fiction

Topics

Brothers. Football. High schools. City and town life. Humorous stories

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

In the fishing town of Grayport, only two things matter: having a blue-collar sense of toughness, and football. Which is why making the team is so important to Wyatt Parker. That, and it’s his only chance to bond with his brother Brett, the star quarterback. When Brett suffers a concussion during a game, he begs Wyatt not to tell and ruin his chance to play in a televised game against Grayport’s rival team. It’s the only chance the team has to win and help the town recover from a resurgence of red tide. Wyatt struggles with the impossible conundrum of deciding what’s more important: saving his brother from a potentially irreversible injury or saving Grayport from even more hardship. Tough topics such as body image, poverty, and bravery are treated with equal parts humor and sincerity. Wyatt’s self-deprecating wit is used as a shield from a seemingly distant older brother, an alcoholic father, and a football team fueled by toxic masculinity. The author deftly paints a clear picture of Grayport as a worn-down coastal town, which creates a perfect backdrop for the story. The football stadium itself is set on a rocky bluff overlooking the ocean and Wyatt describes hearing the ocean waves crash against a stone embankment “like a communal heartbeat...defiant and surviving despite it all.” Even though the conflict resolution seems a bit pat, Kester’s debut novel will strike a chord with teens. Give to fans of Mike Lupica or Carl Hiassen.

Horn Book

Football is often called a game of inches, but for Wyatt Parker, a sophomore at Grayport High in coastal Massachusetts, it’s “a game of flinches.” With a body “more carved from marshmallow than from marble,” Wyatt sees no future for himself in the game, but playing just might be a way to forge a closer relationship with his older brother Brett, the handsome, athletic star quarterback. Their father, whose own glory days were as Grayport’s quarterback, is an alcoholic who lives his life through Brett and ignores Wyatt. With red tide threatening the fishing industry—the bedrock of Grayport’s economy—football is the one thing that gives the dying town a little hope. In Kester’s debut novel, Wyatt and Brett are good-hearted teens doing their best against a somber set of circumstances. The protagonists, the town, and the culture of high-school football are richly devel¬oped with keen insight and pithy prose (“Murray Miller was the answer to what a Cabbage Patch Kid would look like if it were fifty years old, balding, and sporting a fuzzy mustache”). Football action sequences are vivid and testosterone-fueled locker room fights (and talk) brutal, but ultimately this novel is less about football and more about people getting by in a town on the verge of collapse. And that’s where the real gut check sometimes is.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

In the fishing town of Grayport, only two things matter: having a blue-collar sense of toughness, and football. Which is why making the team is so important to Wyatt Parker. That, and it’s his only chance to bond with his brother Brett, the star quarterback. When Brett suffers a concussion during a game, he begs Wyatt not to tell and ruin his chance to play in a televised game against Grayport’s rival team. It’s the only chance the team has to win and help the town recover from a resurgence of red tide. Wyatt struggles with the impossible conundrum of deciding what’s more important: saving his brother from a potentially irreversible injury or saving Grayport from even more hardship. Tough topics such as body image, poverty, and bravery are treated with equal parts humor and sincerity. Wyatt’s self-deprecating wit is used as a shield from a seemingly distant older brother, an alcoholic father, and a football team fueled by toxic masculinity. The author deftly paints a clear picture of Grayport as a worn-down coastal town, which creates a perfect backdrop for the story. The football stadium itself is set on a rocky bluff overlooking the ocean and Wyatt describes hearing the ocean waves crash against a stone embankment “like a communal heartbeat...defiant and surviving despite it all.” Even though the conflict resolution seems a bit pat, Kester’s debut novel will strike a chord with teens. Give to fans of Mike Lupica or Carl Hiassen.

Horn Book

Football is often called a game of inches, but for Wyatt Parker, a sophomore at Grayport High in coastal Massachusetts, it’s “a game of flinches.” With a body “more carved from marshmallow than from marble,” Wyatt sees no future for himself in the game, but playing just might be a way to forge a closer relationship with his older brother Brett, the handsome, athletic star quarterback. Their father, whose own glory days were as Grayport’s quarterback, is an alcoholic who lives his life through Brett and ignores Wyatt. With red tide threatening the fishing industry—the bedrock of Grayport’s economy—football is the one thing that gives the dying town a little hope. In Kester’s debut novel, Wyatt and Brett are good-hearted teens doing their best against a somber set of circumstances. The protagonists, the town, and the culture of high-school football are richly devel¬oped with keen insight and pithy prose (“Murray Miller was the answer to what a Cabbage Patch Kid would look like if it were fifty years old, balding, and sporting a fuzzy mustache”). Football action sequences are vivid and testosterone-fueled locker room fights (and talk) brutal, but ultimately this novel is less about football and more about people getting by in a town on the verge of collapse. And that’s where the real gut check sometimes is.

Grades 9 & Up
Sports High
For Grades 9 & Up

High school sports enthusiasts will love this category, which includes fiction and nonfiction titles that cover the action and excitement of a wide array of sports, the stories and struggles of athletes who have attained great success, and inside looks at the games teens love to watch and play. Action, excitement and struggles will be found in each of the 12 books provided.

12 books per Year
$214.20 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,High Interest/Reluctant Reader,Nonfiction,Biographies,Novels,Realistic Fiction,History
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