Gut Check
Gut Check
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Annotation: When star quarterback Brett suffers a terrible concussion, his brother Wyatt must decide if keeping his brother's secret is worth the risk to their relationship and their town's economic future.
Catalog Number: #195122
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 295 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-374-30762-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-374-30762-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018039308
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Readers don't have to like football in order to love this book.Wyatt couldn't be more different from his older brother, Brett, the quarterback and football hero of a Massachusetts town struggling with a collapsing fishing industry and a red algae bloom. Their father embodies the luckless town's obsession with the only consistently positive facet of life: high school football. Feeling anything but cool, Wyatt describes his own large physique in unflattering terms and is on the receiving end of most of his alcoholic father's verbal abuse and neglect. As he struggles to align an accidental sports success with a secret his brother implores him to keep, Wyatt can't decide whom to disappoint. In his brilliant debut, Kester links a litany of teenage woes with the yearning to escape a dying town and a dead-end life. Recognizable characters, locker room language, and guy humor accompany thorny ethical dilemmas. Buoyed by self-deprecating wit and rare insight, Wyatt endures the humiliations of fat shaming, taunting, bullying, and being the odd man out in a family of three males. The storyline plays both offense and defense with perfection while all-star resilience and a plucky best friend save our hero from a Gordian knot of a problem. Can the hero of a sports story be an overweight, ignored, nonathletic team mascot plucked from obscurity to land in the limelight? You bet! All characters are white.A winner. (Fiction. 14-18)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Readers don't have to like football in order to love this book.Wyatt couldn't be more different from his older brother, Brett, the quarterback and football hero of a Massachusetts town struggling with a collapsing fishing industry and a red algae bloom. Their father embodies the luckless town's obsession with the only consistently positive facet of life: high school football. Feeling anything but cool, Wyatt describes his own large physique in unflattering terms and is on the receiving end of most of his alcoholic father's verbal abuse and neglect. As he struggles to align an accidental sports success with a secret his brother implores him to keep, Wyatt can't decide whom to disappoint. In his brilliant debut, Kester links a litany of teenage woes with the yearning to escape a dying town and a dead-end life. Recognizable characters, locker room language, and guy humor accompany thorny ethical dilemmas. Buoyed by self-deprecating wit and rare insight, Wyatt endures the humiliations of fat shaming, taunting, bullying, and being the odd man out in a family of three males. The storyline plays both offense and defense with perfection while all-star resilience and a plucky best friend save our hero from a Gordian knot of a problem. Can the hero of a sports story be an overweight, ignored, nonathletic team mascot plucked from obscurity to land in the limelight? You bet! All characters are white.A winner. (Fiction. 14-18)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Horn Book
School Library Journal
Word Count: 70,716
Reading Level: 6.3
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.3 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 504966 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: 950L

A darkly comic high-school drama about brotherhood, body image, concussions, and toxic masculinity from Eric Kester, the Boston Globe bestselling adult author of That Book About Harvard . Wyatt has wanted nothing more than to play football on Grayport's championship-winning team. But not for the fame, glory, or girls. It's his last chance to build a relationship with his older brother Brett, the star quarterback, before he leaves for college. Now that their team has gained national attention, a big win could be just what the small town needs in order to rebound from a fishing season that has been devastated by Red Tide. But when Brett suffers a terrible concussion, Wyatt mustdecide if keeping his brother's secret is worth risking his scholarship future. Told with irreverent humor reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen, and a stark honesty about brotherhood and masculinity for fans of Andrew Smith, Gut Check explores the struggle of grappling with uncomfortable truths.


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