This action-packed companion to Fire! (1998) provides an introduction to the personnel, special vehicles, and equipment that are a part of responses to 911 calls for medical emergencies. Each spread includes nearly a dozen full-color close-up photographs with a brief text describing how the tools are used. A spread on “Vital Signs” has a discussion of how emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or emergency room team members check for pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and temperature, and the equipment they use. Other spreads cover the inside of an ambulance, rescue truck, med-evac helicopter, and an operating room. Masoff offers a brief timeline of milestones in medicine, describes what if feels like to be part of the emergency team, suggests ten things readers can do to be prepared for emergencies, and includes places to write for more information. Packed with facts, this title has broad appeal, capturing the pace of emergency work in a visually appealing package. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-97898-5

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1998

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The story will resonate with those on both sides of the debate about the role of youth football in society, and the unusual...


A young athlete lies in a coma while his family and community try to determine the cause of his injury.

Thirteen-year-old Teddy Youngblood collapsed following an intense football practice. At first, the focus is on his injury and the concerns of his family and friends for his recovery. Counselors are brought in to help them with the trauma. The coach’s daughter, Camille, makes a social media page to encourage positive thoughts, but some of the posters hint that something other than a tough hit at practice caused his injury. The doctors encourage family and friends to talk to Teddy, and readers learn much through these comments. Teddy’s family is at odds. His mother, who lives apart, did not want her son to play football, while his dad supported his sports involvement. Also interspersed are Teddy’s thoughts as he lies in the hospital: “This is what life is / Life is football / Football is life.” This nontraditional narrative, using conversations, interview transcripts, text messages, hospital reports, and other documents, skillfully peels back the elements of the mystery. The issues of football’s violence are presented, but the book’s real strength is the depiction of the culture behind it. There are few descriptions to indicate the ethnic makeup of the characters (Teddy’s eyes are described as blue), implying the white default.

The story will resonate with those on both sides of the debate about the role of youth football in society, and the unusual storytelling technique sets it apart from most sport fiction. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3143-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A predictable, fast-paced sports tale with some unexpected heart.


Harrison has led a hard-knock life up until he’s taken in by loving foster parents “Coach” and Jennifer.

After he inadvertently causes the man’s death, Harrison is taken from a brutal foster home run by a farmer who uses foster kids as unpaid labor, a situation blithely ignored by the county. His new foster parents are different. Coach is in charge of the middle school football team, and all 13-year-old Harrison has ever wanted to do is to play football, the perfect outlet for his seething undercurrent of anger at life. Oversized for his age, he’s brilliant at the game but also over-the-top aggressive, until a hit makes his knee start aching—and then life deals him another devastating blow. The pain isn’t an injury but bone cancer. Many of the characters—loving friends Justin and Becky, bully Leo, a mean-spirited math teacher, cancer victim Marty and the major, an amputee veteran who comes to rehabilitate Harrison after life-changing surgery—are straight out of the playbook for maudlin middle-grade fiction. Nevertheless, this effort edges above trite because of well-depicted football scenes and the sheer force of Harrison himself. His altogether believable anger diminishes his likability but breathes life into an otherwise stock role.

A predictable, fast-paced sports tale with some unexpected heart. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-208956-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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