Carla Jenson, sports reporter for her school paper, convinces Jerry Downing, star quarterback and excellent writer, to blog about the team’s season—a novel idea with unexpected repercussions.
Carla, an athlete in her own right, is somewhat of an outsider to the working-class community and school. Jerry has always been a centerpiece of the team, with one exception: a suspension caused by his involvement in a booze-filled party and a serious car accident. Since his punishment and return, he has been set on redemption. A torn ACL disrupts Carla’s athletic career and causes her to focus on the physical vulnerabilities of players. This awareness drives Carla to pursue the sensitive issue of sports-related concussions even though she is opposed by Jerry and practically everyone else in the school and town as the controversy escalates. The story unfolds through their blog posts, comments to the posts and email exchanges, and readers learn about both characters and how much the adults in the school and community have invested in the issues. The authors, an acclaimed writer for teens and a doctor well-known for her medical journalism, do a remarkable job incorporating both riveting sports action and sobering medical facts in the narrative.
Most of all, the passion that Carla brings to telling her story and the desire Jerry has for his team’s success will resonate with aspiring journalists and teen sports fans alike. (Fiction. 12 & up)