Books by Erik E. Esckilsen

OFFSIDES by Erik E. Esckilsen
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

The Hood, Goatee, Blue Hair, a smoker who plays goalie so he won't have to run as much, and Katya, a Russian girl—not your usual soccer team. In fact, Katya says, "Is there a kid on our team who isn't a freak?" Tom Gray has just moved to town. He's the best high-school center striker in the league, but he refuses to play for Coach Dempsey's Southwind Warriors as long as their mascot is an Indian. Tom, a Mohawk, assembles a team of geeks and freaks, misfits and defectors to play Dempsey's talented squad. As in Esckilsen's debut, The Last Mall Rat (2003), this is a bit overwritten in spots, but it's the moral tone that sets it apart from other David and Goliath sports stories. Tom is a young man who is bound to honor what he believes in. The culminating soccer game with the Warriors is a rousing model of sports-writing for young readers—even those who don't know much about soccer will be drawn in. (Fiction. 10+)Read full book review >
THE LAST MALL RAT by Erik E. Esckilsen
FICTION
Released: May 12, 2003

Mitch desperately wants a job, but can't work legally until he turns 16. A trip to the local mall results in the opportunity to earn some spending money, but Mitch's "job" turns out to be intimidating nasty customers so that abused salespeople can taste some sweet revenge. Matters rapidly spiral out of control as Mitch brings his friends into the scheme. The townspeople feel terrorized and blame the attacks on Mitch's friend Jimmy, already a candidate for juvenile hall. Mitch must develop some maturity to deal with the havoc he's caused. The approval of his school friends clashes with the condemnation of the community, until Mitch's father takes action to resolve the crisis. First-time novelist Esckilsen hits readers with a succession of varying scenes that can be difficult to follow at first, but eventually the story becomes interesting and gains an element of suspense. It's a credible effort. (Fiction. 12-15)Read full book review >