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“A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.”
Summary: Johnny Fehey has been friends with Kyle Saint-Claire since they started school, but as they enter their senior year, the distance between their obvious social differences could not be clearer. Kyle earns excellent grades and is the school’s star soccer player. Johnny has no interesting quality to own up to. When fate steps in, Johnny shoots the winning goal in the county championships. Now, finally, he is part of the popular crowd. At the victory party, Johnny witnesses the rape of his newest friend, Annalisa. Kyle and Johnny’s friendship hangs in balance as they ponder what to do and whether their choice will be the right decision. Little does Johnny know that the life of the closest person he understands is also at stake: his own. This is a young adult novel set in high school and built around the friendship of two soccer players. This is a High Interest / Low Readability option.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and up; read yourself: 12 and up
Young Reader Reaction: The author creates incredibly clear images of everything. You don't have to be a soccer player to understand the story ... it was as if you were viewing the games on television! However, the story itself took too long to reach the climax and the exciting scenes were short-lived. The complicated relationship between Kyle and Johnny is very realistic. It is a perfect example of a story in which the characters are not divided easily in to the popular kids vs. the poor mistreated ones. The ending is terrific, original, and unexpected. The language and the some of the contents are not suitable for young children, so this book would be best for those over 13. If you're a fan of soccer or drama, buy this book.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Realistic characters and lots of action keep you reading in this realistic novel for young adults.
Cons: Given the mature topic, some parents may want to preview it - or at least read it with - their kids.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a good book about choices and consequences.
Educational Themes: Although this book is meant for recreational reading, it would make a good selection for a teen book club. There are a number of themes that can engage kids in talking about topics relevant to their world.
Notes: Be the Star You Are read an advance reader copy of this book.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, growing up, sports
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2009
Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at amazon.com.