Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, June 16 Edition

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Cracking the Bell by Geoff Herbach
Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-0062453167

Football is the thing that turned Isaiah’s life around, but after he suffers a potentially dangerous concussion, will he continue to risk his life in order to have the future that football offers him?

The opening hook of Cracking the Bell is an action-packed football game, which is written as if readers were on the field with Isaiah. The descriptions of his concussion are visceral and give readers a real connection to the main conflict of the plot. While readers will be hooked by the sports-related plotline, the realistic fiction aspects, such as Isaiah grieving for his older sister who died in a drunk driving accident, and Isaiah reflecting on past poor life decisions (such as drug and alcohol abuse) will keep readers’ attention as Isaiah handles multiple, heavy issues, and ultimately is not afraid to show his emotions. The book is also a short one (256 pages) with relatively short chapters that keep the plot moving.

Fans of football and the tv shows Friday Night Lights and All American would enjoy this read.

–Molly Dettmann

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.