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Out of the Pocket

by Bill Konigsberg

Published by Dutton, 2008
264 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧25479963

Age 13 and older

Bobby Framingham is a successful high school quarterback who dreams of recruitment to Stanford before turning pro. Bobby抯 a confident guy who wishes that he could be honest with his teammates and family about his sexuality, but he worries that being openly gay could jeopardize his athletic future. He抯 done his research, and he knows that there has never been a publicly gay player in the history of the NFL. After coming out to his best friend, he抯 relieved that Austin seems okay梜ind of梬ith the information. As it turns out, Austin can抰 keep the news to himself, and others on the team aren抰 so accepting. Eventually Bobby抯 secret is exposed in the school newspaper, which leads to national coverage. Reactions from peers, family, fans, and the media range from homophobic intolerance to unexpected support. This tumultuous stage of Bobby抯 life is both exacerbated and put in perspective when his father is diagnosed with lymphoma. Bobby struggles to master new skills on the field that require him to function 搊ut of the pocket, at the same time as he is forced to leave his comfort zone in the real world. Ultimately it appears that Bobby will bring his winning ways to both arenas.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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