Monday, April 12, 2010



by Jerry Spinelli (1996)

Middle-school football star/bully learns what's really important in life.

Being in sports, and being a guy, all my life I can definitely recognize "Crash" Coogan and his alpha male jock friends.  Now as a coach and parent I see how we reinforce the ego-driven outlook the physically talented are taught to have from an early age.  It's almost natural, probably part of a deeper, hunter/warrior society-centered instinct to praise and follow the one who can knock over the most mastadons.  The first students that get noticed are usually the bigger and faster kids on the playground.

This story follows a star athlete as his family and neighbor/classmate get him to think about other things in life than himself and being popular (pacifism, nature, death); I wish there would have been more to the book at the "end" of his story, his conversion to a nice guy was wrapped up all too quick.


TeachEnEspanol said...

The only thing I remember about that book is that my brother had it when I was little and I was so concerned when I saw that mustache that he would deface his own books in such an obvious way. :)

JK said...

that's funny -- I felt the same way about my little sister writing her name in/on her books, not just once but on several pages and the cover, and scratching out any names that came before hers...

TeachEnEspanol said...

Ahaha, that's even better. She didn't even believe your books were allowed to have a past! :)