Sunday, August 18, 2013

SECOND IMPACT by David Klass & Perri Klass

This book is not going to gather any dust on my classroom shelf.  I predict it will be a popular read with the 9th and 10th grade guys and even some of the girls.

After reading several reviews prior to ordering the book, I was a little worried, but I don't have the common complaint of the other reviewers.  The book is written as blog post entries, and other reviewers (both recreational and professional) have criticized this format.  Personally, I was not bothered by this aspect of the book at all.  Since the blog posts and occasional emails alternate between the two main characters, to me, it just read like alternating chapters.  I enjoy books written using alternating voices so I didn't find this to be a problem at all.

SECOND IMPACT is about a New Jersey high school football team out to win the state championship.  Jerry is the star quarterback grateful to be back on the team after a drunk driving accident that had him on probation and doing community service work to regain the trust of the school and the right to rejoin his team.  He wants to make his senior year one to remember.

Carla is the star journalist for the high school newspaper.  She also uses her writing talents on a newly created school blog.  Recently, she convinced Jerry to begin posting his view of the football season on the blog.  He is nervous at first, but he finds it challenging and rewarding.

The blogging gets a bit complicated when Jerry and then his friend Danny receive some hard hits on the playing field.  Their injuries bring up the danger of playing football, especially the studies being done related to head trauma.  Carla decides to do some in depth investigating into the dangers of football brain injuries, but many, including Jerry, believe she is overstepping the bounds of responsible journalism.

Written by accomplished YA author David Klass and his sister Perri Klass, a pediatrician, SECOND IMPACT combines the fast-paced action of high school football with facts about the risks behind the nation's favorite sport.  Teen readers should find the book entertaining as well as thought-provoking.  I'm glad I purchased it for my classroom.

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