Fourth Down and Inches
Concussions and Football's Make-Or-Break Moment
By Carla Killough McClafferty
(Carolrhoda Books, Library Binding, 9781467710671, 96pp.)
Publication Date: September 2013
List Price: $20.95*
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Football's defenders managed to move the chains. Rule changes and reforms after 1905 saved the game and cleared the way for it to become America's most popular sport. But they didn't fix everything.
Today, football faces a new injury crisis as dire as 1905's. With increased awareness about brain injury, reported concussions are on the rise among football players. But experts fear concussions may only be the tip of the iceberg. The injuries are almost invisible, but the stakes couldn't be higher: the brains of millions of young football players across the country.
"After high school I graduated from Baptist Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology in Little Rock, then worked in local hospitals. After my children were born, I was a stay-at-home mom except for occasional freelance work as a radiologic technologist in orthopedic clinics.
"I began writing after the death of my fourteen-month-old son, Corey, which left me struggling to answer impossible questions like 'Why did this have to happen?' I wrote a book about how God brought me through this difficult period in my life titled "Forgiving God" (Discovery House, 1995). I found through that experience that I loved to write and have been writing ever since."
Ms. McClafferty's first book of nonfiction for children is "The Head Bone's Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful X-ray". Through an engaging text and numerous photographs, McClafferty tells the history of the X-ray, from its discovery to its applications today, covering such things as the use of X-rays to study art, Egyptian mummies, astronomy, and paleontology, just to name a few. In manuscript form, "The Head Bone's Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful X-ray" won the 1997 Work-in-Progress Grant from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
In "Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium", Ms. McClafferty gives the scientist's life and work a fresh telling, one that also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse. "Kirkus Reviews" says the book "gives readers a terrific sense of Curie's state of mind as she worked and loved. There are many biographies of Curie; this one stands out in its shared focus on her discovery and its legacy."
Ms. McClafferty is a frequent speaker at church, writers', teachers' and school groups. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband Pat. They have three children, Ryan, Brittney and the late Corey McClafferty.