Reggie "Stick-'em" Scott is a hard-hitting senior linebacker. During a game, Nate, a player on the opposing team, tackles Reggie improperly and ends up in the hospital, possibly paralyzed for life. Though Reggie's family, friends, teammates, and coaches all say the accident wasn't his fault, Reggie still feels guilty. When Nate's mother blames Reggie, his remorse becomes overwhelming, and his performance on the field suffers. Reggie realizes he has to somehow clear his head and his conscience, or his senior season may be over. Special hardcover edition.
JLG Release: Feb 2009
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Junior Library Guild
Author Jeff Rud emphasizes how people’s responses to the accident influence Reggie and set him on edge. Reggie’s initial reaction is concern—after all, Nate is not only seriously injured, h A quick, compelling read, Paralyzed is also an uncommonly skilled take on a common theme in sports novels: the mental aspect of the game.
Author Jeff Rud emphasizes how people’s responses to the accident influence Reggie and set him on edge. Reggie’s initial reaction is concern—after all, Nate is not only seriously injured, he’s also an acquaintance of Reggie’s from football camp. Reggie doesn’t even consider that he might be guilty until his coach and his parents insist that he wasn’t to blame. “I knew it wasn’t my fault. Why did everybody feel like they had to tell me that?” By the time Nate’s mother yells at Reggie in the intensive care unit, Reggie is overcome with grief. “Tears were streaming down my face, and my chest was heaving.”
Rud’s characterizations are evenhanded; he shows that the sources of Reggie’s stress can also be sources of aid and comfort: Reggie’s coach forbids him from watching a videotape of the game so he doesn’t obsess over it, and Reggie’s father opens up about his own history with anxiety and about how working with a psychologist helped him. Their dialogue reveals an unexpected vulnerability in both father and son that is realistic and touching.
When Reggie’s coaches ask him to sit out the next game, he recognizes that he has to take action and prevent outside factors from affecting his concentration. With help from a sports psychologist, Reggie regains his focus. And when Reggie gets back in the game, Rud delivers exciting, high-stakes football action.
4 1/4" x 7"
Level 4.6; Points: 4;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 3.7; Points: 9;
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Football, Star players, Injuries, Grief, Guilt, Becoming fixated on a problem, Newspapers, Proper tackling technique, Hospitals, Blame, Feeling hesitant, Spinal injuries, Paralysis, Nicknames, Team pride, Adult intervention, Therapy, Mental health issues, Poor journalism, Replacement players, Sports psychology, Administrative hearings, Pep rallies, Winning, Rematches, Losing, College recruiters, Forgiveness,