Saturday, November 9, 2013

OUT OF THE POCKET by Bill Konigsberg

Being one of the most talented high school quarterbacks in the state of California should mean life is pretty perfect, but that's not the case for senior Bobby Framingham.  If he can keep his team going on its current winning streak, Bobby has a chance of attracting the top college scouts and from there, hopefully it will be on to pro ball.  Everyone is rooting for him.

On the surface it all looks good for Bobby, but underneath he is struggling with a life-changing issue.  Bobby is attempting to come to terms with the fact that he is gay.  He has known for a while now, but he hasn't confided in anyone.  Coming out of the closet means possibly alienating family and friends, and he isn't sure he's ready for that.  Besides the issues of friends and family, Bobby doesn't think a single college or professional football player has ever come forward to admit that they are gay.  Would publicly acknowledging his sexual preference be the end of his future before it even starts?

During a candid conversation with a student reporter for the school paper, Bobby lets down his guard and mentions that he is gay.  When the news breaks in the school paper, Bobby realizes it's out of his control.  Although reactions aren't as bad as he expected from classmates, the reaction of some of his teammates proves to be even more negative than he anticipated.  What Bobby wants more than anything is to play football, but his announcement could mean the end of his dream.

Author Bill Konigsberg tackles the sensitive topic of homosexuality in the locker room.  As I began reading, I immediately liked Bobby and cheered for him as he made his brave decisions.  Konigsberg does an excellent job combining football action with the drama and tension surrounding Bobby's coming out and the backlash of his announcement.  OUT OF THE POCKET is a worthwhile read.

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