Crackback

Crackback

4.1 42
by John Coy
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In his gripping debut novel, acclaimed picture book author John Coy presents the high stakes world of high school football, where doing what it takes to win doesn't always mean doing the right thing. When Miles Manning, a successful high school football player, discovers his teammates are using steroids--and one of them is his best friend--he's faced with a tough

Overview

In his gripping debut novel, acclaimed picture book author John Coy presents the high stakes world of high school football, where doing what it takes to win doesn't always mean doing the right thing. When Miles Manning, a successful high school football player, discovers his teammates are using steroids--and one of them is his best friend--he's faced with a tough decision: Is he willing to do what it takes to win? Football is his life, and his family, especially his dad, is pinning its hopes on him. It's a lot of pressure for a high school junior to bear. This gripping look into the world of high school boys and athletes--and their struggle to be the best--is provocative and searingly honest.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
An excellent football story by a newcomer to the field of YA fiction; Coy has written children's books in the past and teaches writing "in schools across the country." Miles plays high school football, enjoying the game, but anxious about pleasing his demanding father and the abusive coach, and about avoiding the steroids pushed on him by his teammates. Nothing evolves like usual sports stories. In fact, Miles is placed on the bench, the team is a failure, and he makes some new friends who don't take football so seriously. The tension in his family becomes explosive, and finally secrets are revealed and the family dynamics are improved—Miles's mother is wonderful and his father finally opens up. Miles's interest in history grows, as does his interest in a smart new student, Lucia. Every reader is going to love Miles for his humor, his talent, and intelligence. Coy controls the story with great wit and talent himself and we look forward to his future work. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Scholastic, 206p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
Children's Literature - Jillian Hurst
Miles Manning, a junior at Confluence High School and a star on the football team, is not unpopular but his involvement on the football team definitely defines his place at Confluence. Miles faces many issues that relate to all high school students. He has trouble fitting in with friends, longs for an ideal body, cannot figure out which girl to ask to the homecoming dance, and gets in typical arguments with his parents. But Miles encounters other conflicts that often remain hidden in adolescent literature—carefully kept family secrets, deliberate peer pressure to use drugs, and crude discrimination. Miles' closest friends pressure him, his father ignores him, and his coach disrespects him, all which make Miles' attempts to figure out who he is even more difficult. Although Coy depicts an impeccable creation of the secretive thoughts of a teenage boy, he attempts to cover too many personal and relational issues for any one of them to make a significant impact. This book may not be a timeless story, but it offers an honest representation of the dynamics of high school in the 21st century. Reviewer: Jillian Hurst
Children's Literature
Miles Manning knows how to tackle football opponents, but life's unexpected crackbacks (like that immobilizing maneuver players do not see coming) catch him off guard. He aspires for Confluence High's team to win the conference championship and go to the state playoffs. He also hopes to achieve individual honors for his defensive skills. Miles realizes his football talents help attract attention from college scouts offering scholarships and popular girls seeking prestigious boyfriends. He balances practice and work, all the while enduring his controlling father (a former player who orders Miles to obey his coaches) and punitive Coach Stahl (who chastises Miles for thinking not reacting on the field). Miles blunders during a crucial game enabling the rival team to score a winning touchdown. As a result he is demoted to the second string, blocking him from achieving his goals. Miles' hedonistic friend, Zach, offers him performance-enhancing drugs, which disillusioned Miles contemplates taking when his identity as a starting player disintegrates. Miles befriends enigmatic classmate, Lucia, and delves into history teacher, Mr. Halloran's, immigration assignment. From this he begins to understand how past events have shaped his life and he strengthens his resolve to withstand unfair attacks and situations. Teenage culture is depicted accurately, showing Miles struggling with his peers' opinions. The steroids subplot is not fully developed and lacks significant resolution or repercussions readers might expect based on foreshadowing. Read with A.M. Jenkins' Damage (2001), and Chris Lynch's Inexcusable (2005), to discuss how families, coaches, fans, drugs, and drinking affectteenage athletes. 2005, Scholastic, Ages 12 up.
—Elizabeth D. Schafer
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Coy takes the topic of football and weaves it in and out of other conflicts typical of teenage boys such as father/son relationships, girls, steroids, and realizing that there is more to life than just the game. Miles is a likable and talented player who tries to please everyone: coaches, his father, his teachers, and the girl he is interested in. Regardless of his efforts or his talents, he can't seem to satisfy his coach and winds up on the bench where he meets, and likes, the second-string players who have lives outside of football-something that has never occurred to Miles or his father. In addition, he refuses to take steroids, even though his teammates do. Through his struggles with his coach and his dad, he begins to learn that life is complicated and that answers don't always come in the form of X's and O's. The family secret that drives his father, the interesting girl who shows him that the world is a big place, and the intense, sometimes unbelievable coach who teaches him that you can't please some people, no matter what, give Miles a new, perhaps healthier, perspective. Boys will appreciate the well rounded characters and the plot that mixes sports with real life. It doesn't hurt that there is some great football action throughout.-Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Miles is excited about his junior-year football season. He knows the sport, loves playing defense and even though his father can be overbearing, he's taught Miles basic skills and how to play smart and to respect the coach. Zach, who has been Miles's best friend and teammate, is transforming himself, now. He's not just bulking up, but passing out uppers and advocating shooting up steroids as something all players do. When the regular coach steps aside, belligerent inexperienced Coach Stahl takes over and Miles has to consider carefully how important is the sport to him and how much he wants to risk. Coy obviously knows the gridiron and uses crackback, a football term meaning a block coming from the outside and behind, to symbolize all the ways sudden changes or surprises in life can throw you for a loop. Coy makes fun of the stupid cliches that surround the sport while maintaining a strong love of the game, managing to integrate girlfriends, serious social history and family dynamics seamlessly. Most of the recent quality sports fiction has focused on basketball or wrestling, which makes this extra welcome. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher

Booklist 9/1/05
*STAR* Coy, John. Crackback. Nov. 2005. 208p. Scholastic, $16.99 (0-439-69733-6).
Gr. 8-11. Sophomore football star Miles is excited about his strong team's chances in the new season. Then his favorite coach resigns, and Miles chafes under the new coach, who favors phrases such as, “This isn't a democracy. This is a dictatorship, and I'm the Dick.” Miles feels alienated from his teammates at school, who have turned to steroids, and also at home, with his angry father. In his first novel, the author of numerous picture books, including Strong to the Hoop (1998), writes a moving, nuanced portrait of a teen struggling with adults who demand, but don't always deserve, respect. A subplot involving a school assignment about family roots and the Middle Passage feels somewhat patched on, but Coy connects the story's diverse elements–family secrets, his father's rages and homophobia, a burgeoning romance, football, and shifting friendships–in a loose jumble that, like Miles' strong first-person voice, is sharply authentic, open ended, and filled with small details that signify larger truths. For another powerful look as the emotional lives of male teens athletes, suggest A.M. Jenkins' Damage (2001). – Gillian Engberg

Kirkus 11/1/05
Miles is excited about his junior-year football season. He knows the sport, loves playing defense and even though his father can be overbearing, he's taught Miles basic skills and how to play smart and to respect the coach. Zach, who has been Miles's best friend and teammate, is transforming himself, now. He's not just bulking up, but passing out uppers and advocating shooting up steroids as something all players do. When the regular coach steps aside, belligerent inexperienced Coach Stahl takes over and Miles has to consider carefully how important is the sport to him and how much he wants to risk. Coy obviously knows the gridiron and uses crackback, a football term meaning a block coming from the outside and behind, to symbolize all the ways sudden changes or surprises in life can throw you for a loop. Coy makes fun of the stupid clichés that surround the sport while maintaining a strong love of the game, managing to integrate girlfriends, serious social history and family dynamics seamlessly. Most of the recent quality sports fiction has focused on basketball or wrestling, which makes this extra welcome. (Fiction. YA)

SLJ 12/1/05
COY, John. Crackback. 206p. CIP. Scholastic. 2005. Tr $16.99. ISBN 0-439-69733-6. LC 2004030972.
Gr 7 Up–Coy takes the topic of football and weaves it in and out of other conflicts typical of teenage boys such as father/son relationships, girls, steroids, and realizing that there is more to life than just the game. Miles is a likable and talented player who tries to please everyone: coaches, his father, his teachers, and the girl he is interested in. Regardless of his efforts or his talents, he can't seem to satisfy his coach and winds up on the bench where he meets, and likes, the second-string players who have lives outside of football–something that has never occurred to Miles or his father. In addition, he refuses to take steroids, even though his teammates do. Through his struggles with his coach and his dad, he begins to learn that life is complicated and that answers don't always come in the form of X's and O's. The family secret that drives his father, the interesting girl who shows him that the world is a big place, and the intense, sometimes unbelievable coach who teaches him that you can't please some people, no matter what, give Miles a new, perhaps healthier, perspective. Boys will appreciate the well rounded characters and the plot that mixes sports with real life. It doesn't hurt that there is some great football action throughout.–Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY

Voice of Youth Advocates
(December 1, 2005; 0-439-69733-6; 978-0-

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545230018
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
366,200
File size:
372 KB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author


John Coy is an award-winning author, who worked as a dishwasher, mattress maker, and tour guide before taking up writing. He's active in sports and is a member of the NBA Reading All-Star Team as part of the Read to Achieve program. John has traveled to all fifty states as well as to many countries internationally.

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.¹s Best Books of the Year, and a featured book on PBS Reading Rainbow, and Vroomaloom Zoom, a book of excellence on the Children¹s Literature Choice List. His newest picture book Around the World is about international basketball.

John¹s 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Crackback 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crack Back
By: John Coy
In football there are a lot of terms that are associated with the game, however, there¿s only one thing that comes from the outside and obliterates you if you don¿t see it in time, a crack back block. The book Crackback is written by John Coy and is centered on the main character, Miles Manning. Miles isn¿t the most intelligent person in his grade, yet alone the most stud-knockout boy either, but there is one special talent that pertains to him. He is 5 foot 8 and weighs 155lbs, and did I forget to mention this boy is really good at football which is why he is a starting junior WR at Confluence High School. This is not an ordinary high school football team, it is an extraordinary one that is the favorite to win their division, conference, and go to State¿s and win them too. Now from being a junior and to have those credentials everyone especially his coaches and his dad are pushing him to get to the top of the mountain and reach his full potential by getting bigger, faster, stronger, and tougher. This boy isn¿t finished there, he is then faced with even bigger and tougher decisions from girls to his friends and best one to his family. The type of theme that best fits this book is overcoming challenges, without a doubt. Miles is faced with football, peer pressure, family issues, girl issues, and friend issues. Yet with all these surrounding issues Miles overcome each challenge that he was faced with and each one he overcame was through choosing the right path. The book showed by not being afraid and not giving in you can overcome. Finally, an appropriate age group for this book would be from grades 6 to 9 because they could relate the most to it and really gain wisdom and knowledge from one he was faced with and what to do when these problems occur.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty good. It kept you reading and put you in the position of what a good football player can sometimes do to make himself better. If you'd like to see what kind of life a football player has, read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great quick easy read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fresh bruhhhhhhhh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U know he is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saw u last nigt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im back
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Noooooo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey bet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is a dick
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
keithykins More than 1 year ago
This was a great book!!!!!!!!!!! it really shows the life of a teen and the problems they go through. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crackback by John Coy is about a guy named Miles Manning. Miles is a football player, but when he finds out that his whole team is using steroids and one of them is his best friend. Zack offers him steroids but Miles refuses, but Zack does not want to be his friend because of it. Miles meets another guy, he teaches him how to peek through cars in the park at night. Miles gets caught and gets beat up for spying on this guy and his girlfriend. He meets this girl, he likes her. He takes her out on a few dates, and she pretty much falls in love with him and so did he. His friend eventually talks to him after the last game, he tells Miles who to cover and to watch out for the crackback. He eventually gets back in the game and leads the team to victory. Coach tells the team he has prostate cancer and the doctor told him to not be in to much stress. He gives up his head coach spot. Another coach takes his spot and he only cares about winning. Miles leads the team to the champion ship and they win.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
blackhat999 More than 1 year ago
In the book Crackback by John Coy Miles Manning is a high school football hero. He has saved some victories and scored a few touchdowns, with a lot of tackles. His team, the Eagles, want to go to the state championships, but in this tough season of football, he has some close encounters and some injuries. I would recommend this to a reader that is over the age of ten and likes football. This was an easy read for me. I rate this book an 8 of 10. Not as much going on as I wanted. Although this book only had 201 pages of reading and an interview with John Coy, it was a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Crackback" was very exciting and teens that love football would love this book. It was very well-written and the plot was outstanding. The book started off with Miles, who is all about football. As the story went on, it became more and more about just living life. It also shows teens that they should not be pressured into doing anything that they do not want to do and should not be doing. Mile's best friend Zach was taking steroids with some of the seniors, but Miles did not want to do it. The two did not talk to each other until the game they needed to get into the playoffs. In order to win that game they had to communicate. They had to settle their differences right there on the field. No matter whether the team won or lost, that friendship was rebuilt at the most needed time.
Moush More than 1 year ago
This book can relate to teenage boys. It's a good story where teenage boys face problems like in today's world. Crackback kept my attention and I was interested in it. It's realistic fiction. I bet it can relate to alot of highschool football players. John Coy makes you not want to put the book down. Sometimes it feels like you're there. His cliffhangers at the end of the chapters are really good. I don't read very often but this book kept me reading. I recommend it to highschool teenagers. I loved this book because I love football and sports. I would probably recommend it to guys who love football. I didn't think it was boring at all. It's a good story about football and peer pressure. Also, it is about the high school life and the problems teenagers face. Alot of teenagers would like this book. It has alot of action and its unpredictable. It keep me interested. Great book. I loved it.