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by John Coy

Published by Scholastic Press, 2005
201 pages
ISBN: 0-439-69733-6

Ages 12-15

Sophomore Miles Manning is a gifted defenseman on his high school football team who enjoys playing hard and winning. His dad was a football star himself and Miles can never quite live up to his expectations, but he has a good coach who offsets his father’s harsh criticisms of his game. Things change dramatically when his coach suddenly resigns and the assistant coach takes over. Gone is his former coach’s steady hand and compassion; now the team is reigned with an iron fist. He works the players so hard that Miles finds it harder and harder to resist the temptation of steroids, which a number of his teammates, including his best friend, are using. There’s plenty of exciting football action in John Coy’s first novel, but readers will find depth here, too, as Miles deals with ethical issues in his search for himself.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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