By John Coy
Scholastic Press, Hardcover, 9780439870320, 304pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Liam has just been bumped up to starter on the varsity basketball team, and the pressure's on. With the girls' team heading to State, the boys' team is under even greater scrutiny than usual in Liam's small midwestern town. When the team's coach starts counting on the power of prayer---and enforcing teamwide participation---Liam finds himself in a spotlight that's more nerve-racking than any trip to the free-throw line. In trying to stand up for what's right, Liam is forced to stand up for himself---against his teammates, his fellow students, and even his parents.
His work includes Strong to the Hoop, an American Library Association Notable Book, Night Driving, a Marion Vannett Ridgway Memorial Award winner and a Horn Book Fanfare title, Two Old Potatoes and Me, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, a Nickelodeon Jr.s Best Books of the Year, and a featured book on PBS Reading Rainbow, and Vroomaloom Zoom, a book of excellence on the Childrens Literature Choice List. His newest picture book Around the World is about international basketball.
Johns latest title is Crackback, a young adult novel that reveals the high stakes world of high school football as a young player finds himself in a difficult situation. John's experience as a defensive back on his high school football team brings an authentic voice to which readers will be able to relate. "As a boy I loved playing football in the back yard and later in organized games," says John. "Football was the one place where smashing into people was not only okay, it was rewarded."
The idea for the novel came when he wrote Strong to the Hoop. "My editor for Strong to the Hoop said that the language and action convinced her that I had a novel in me and that she would like to see it when I wrote it," John states. "When I was ready to write it, the topic that grabbed me was high school football."
John also wanted to convey his belief that it is impossible to overestimate the degree of identification some teenagers have with sports. "I was such a teenager, and my choices for reading such books were much more limited than the options available today."
John Coy writes and plays sports in Minnesota and wherever else he can join a game.