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THE GREAT RECEIVER by Elena Yates Eulo

THE GREAT RECEIVER

by Elena Yates Eulo

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1888-6
Publisher: Holiday House

High-school sophomore Joey Eastland dreams of stardom and leading his Ohio school’s football team to victory, but after messing up his tryout he’s relegated to “hydration therapist.” That’s Joey’s problem—nobody will take his water-boy status seriously in his quest to become “The Great Receiver.” Through a series of coincidences, Joey gets his big chance and immediately skyrockets to stardom. This rags-to-riches story contains a series of melodramatic scenarios with stereotypical characters, such as the stone-faced coach and demanding English teacher. Joey’s first-person narration rings with a gee-whiz tone—no swearing or sex—that marks this title strictly a middle-school choice. With minor changes, it could easily be set in the 1930s: Quaintly enough, the players stop off at the Chocolate Shoppe for burgers and shakes following each game. Eulo crowds her story with hints of racism, parental verbal abuse and jealousy, but clunky prose and unconvincing dialogue slows the pacing. “That stupid showboating makes me look bad. Lay off!” This squeaky-clean story has more potential appeal for tweens than teens. (Fiction. 10-14)