RUNNING WILD by Thomas J. Dygard

RUNNING WILD

Age Range: 9 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The transformation of a teenage ne'er-do-well to gridiron great is traced in this novel from Dygard (Game Plan, 1993, etc.) that could be subtitled ``Portrait of the Troubled Teen as a Fledgling Jock.'' After his bad-apple pals Jimbo and Bucky sideswipe a parked car, Pete gets collared by Officer Stowell and dragged down to the police station. He'd shown enough flair while trying to outrun the law that Officer Stowell calls up Coach Wilson of the famed Cartwright Bulldogs. The coach comes to the station and offers Pete the chance to play for the team, in exchange for his freedom. Pete agrees, reluctantly; by his second practice he shows natural talent as a receiver, and in his first game he almost single-handedly catapults the Bulldogs to victory. In this never-never land of teenage cooperation and respect, Pete is soon chugging sodas with the varsity players, who, unlike most of their real-life contemporaries, abstain form beer drinking, drugs, or any other behavior frowned upon during the Eisenhower Administration. The theft of Pete's playbook and its sale to a rival high school threaten to sink his career, but a forced confession by Jimbo, at the hands of Pete's teammates, clears the young player for future glory. Perceptive nine-year-olds might like this; older readers will find Pete's high school too white-bread and whitewashed to merit a visit. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-688-14853-0
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996




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