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4.2 9
by Eric Walters

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When a division one coach comes to their smaller school to bring the football program up to contender status, Moose and the rest of the players on the team are pumped. Coach Barnes has new ideas and a vision for the future, nothing is too good for his players. With a new training regimen, everything seems to be on a winning track. But when Moose and others are offered


When a division one coach comes to their smaller school to bring the football program up to contender status, Moose and the rest of the players on the team are pumped. Coach Barnes has new ideas and a vision for the future, nothing is too good for his players. With a new training regimen, everything seems to be on a winning track. But when Moose and others are offered steroids, tempers start to fray and the teammates have to decide whose side they are on.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Moose, a sophomore football senior team member, is thrilled to hold the game football. All the clapping of his team mates, smiles, and words from his coach make him feel honored to be MVP. But the happiness immediately is replaced by sadness as his coach announces his retirement after twenty-seven years. The new coach, in a suit like a pro football coach, arrives after school is out for the summer. He makes many promises—new lockers, new exercise room with new equipment, and new work-out clothes. He even provides them with a trainer, vitamins, and power drinks. Michael is happy to be named one of three co-captains and vows to be a good example to the team. He lives with his Mom and has a good relationship with his Dad. He was even named "Employee of the Month" at the supermarket where he works. He is talked into taking steroids under the persuasive illusion that his trainer gives him that it is best for his Mom for—college scholarships—for his future, and for his team. He says there are only minor drawbacks, not mentioning steroids are against the law. When things get bad with anger issues and body changes, Moose faces the realities of drug use. When his old coach unexpectedly returns and the new coach and trainer are arrested, Michael makes a tough choice for the team. This high school drug-related novel, part of the "Orca Sounding" series, would be a good discussion book for middle-school classrooms. It would be a good book to read to the class posing a question after each chapter. It definitely should be included as a drug prevention novel on library shelves. 2005, Orca Publishers, Ages 12 to 18.
—Charlotte M. Krall
At one time, Michael "Moose" Monroe was just a large child, hating the stupidity and clumsiness that his nickname implied. Now fans yell, "The Moose is loose!" as he sacks quarterback after quarterback. Dedication and desire make him MVP for his Division II championship team. Coach Reeves announces his retirement. His successor, Kevin Barnes, moves from a Division I school. He is a slick-talking, glad-handing, maxim-spouting, football-is-all coach. Immediately the locker room is remodeled, weight room updated with sound system and 42-inch plasma televisions, a whirlpool installed, and a massage therapist procured. Moose is named captain for his work ethic and leadership. That summer, Tony, Barnes's friend, arrives as the strength and conditioning coach. The players are pulled aside and asked if they are willing to do anything to reach their goal. Naturally they reply affirmatively. In Tony and Barnes' estimation, "anything" includes "juicing" or taking steroids. Zits galore populate faces and backs. Behavior changes become visible in the players. Normally mild-mannered Moose is suspended from work for losing his temper. When an NFL player, a former player of Barnes, is caught up in a steroid scandal and names Tony and Barnes as suppliers, Coach Reeves comes back from retirement and life goes on-steroid free. This Orca Soundings hi-lo offering is a fast-paced page-turner that becomes somewhat preachy in the final pages. The pressures of being an athlete, keeping up academically, and working part-time give Moose depth and sympathy. Boys or any reluctant reader will love this story. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dyingto read it yesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Orca, 101p., pb. Ages 11 to 18.
—Mike Brown
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Written at a 2.9+ reading level (as indicated on the back cover), this story will appeal to students who lack strong reading skills. Moose is an excellent football player, a good kid, and a good leader. A mixture of corrupt and well-meaning adults provide balance as he deals with a new coach who is determined to win at all costs. Steroid use is explored, as are the consequences of getting caught. The attraction of sports, flashy equipment, a desire to succeed, and a moral dilemma about how success should be achieved will keep readers engaged throughout. The moral of the story is crystal clear at the end and seems a bit overstated. Unfortunately, books for struggling older readers do not have much room for intricate plots or solid character development. While this one fits that category, it will find an audience.-Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Canadian Children's Literature
"Young readers will appreciate the way the narrative offers an inside look at how doping in sports actually works, even as they come to learn the lesson."
Resource Links
"Walters has done it again. He has created a world that readers will instantly recognize and become engaged in...Highly recommended."
CD Syndicated
Walters' characters have the energy and urgency of real kids with nice role-model nuances; you really care about them and their predicaments.
— Chris DeVito
CM Magazine
"Would certainly be of interest to any athletic high school boy involved in team sports and who may have had to deal with similar issues...Recommended."
Hip Librarians' Book Blog
"Opportunities for discussion abound...Drama and action are balanced well and the author avoids a heavy-handed moral tone."
Quill & Quire
"Juice is an easy read and there is a helpful downloadable teacher’s guide on the Orca website. Walters’ punchy writing style keeps the story moving along."
CD Syndicated - Chris DeVito
"Walters' characters have the energy and urgency of real kids with nice role-model nuances; you really care about them and their predicaments."

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Orca Soundings Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

What happens between you and me stays here. It's nobody's business but ours."

"But isn't using steroids sort of like cheating?" I asked.

"It would be if you were the only one doing it. Half the kids on the line who are standing across from you, trying to block you, are on the juice. We're just trying to give you what you need to even up the score.

Meet the Author

Eric Walters began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his grade five students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. At the end of the year, one student suggested that he try to have his story published. Since that first creation, Eric’s novels have all become best-sellers and have won over eighty awards. Often his stories incorporate themes that reflect his background in education and social work and his commitment to humanitarian and social-justice issues. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 70,000 students per year in schools across the country. Eric lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife and three children.

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Juice 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
abcd1234 More than 1 year ago
Juice is about a small high school football program that hires a former college strength and conditioning coach to help their struggling program. The coach builds relationships with the players and convinces the leaders to take steroids in the off-season weight training training program. Most of the players decide to take the illegal drugs after seeing the results of their teammates; most are getting bigger, stronger and faster. The coach wants to win at all costs - some players are caught in the middle. Is winning worth it if we are cheating? Moose, the team captain sees himself change not only getting stronger and bigger but also his personality. He knows he is becoming a better football player but at what cost? Moose becomes moody and short tempered - he does not like the person he is turning into. Read Juice and find out how teenage athletes handle the pressure to win and perform from their coaches, peer pressure and the internal struggle...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
skidoo More than 1 year ago
Juice By Eric Walters is an interesting story about a high school football Team that want to go all the way to make it to the championship. The Captain of their team is Michael whose nick name is moose because he is So large. During Michael junior year he is coached by coach reeves which Is like a father to him since Michael father had left him and his Mother. After a great season of football Michael and his team is are told By their coach that he is leaving for retirement but has set up a new Coach for them which he thought will teach them well. When the team is Introduced to this coach they immediately fall in love with him because He offers the football team everything he can do he updates the gym and Gives them a clothing line also provides them with free vitamins. Also The new coach introduces them to a new trainer who has coached pros and Also looks absolutely huge with giant veins that make the team wonder What he is on, and i believe this shows foreshadowing through the rest Of the novel. Everyone on the team was very excited about the new Year. After weeks of training there trainer decides to open up to Michael The team captain and tell him what he needs to do so maybe he can go All the way and get a full ride to college the trainer wants him to Start using the special juice which is steroids. Michael does not want To let anyone down even though he knows the bad effects of using Steroids. After a few days of using the special juice Michael notices Huge improvements. But the next day after waking up the Secretary wants The team to come in for a meeting when the team gets to the weight room Coach reeves shows up he tells the team that there trainer has been Caught dealing with steroids he says the police will interview all the Members of the team but no one will be in trouble because the know the Team was pressured into it. And there coach was also involved in this. Now coach reeves feels terrible setting the team up with theses coaches And now decides to coach the team this one last year and try to lead Them to victory the right way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great for kids in their teens. This book tells you that cheating may be tempting, but if you cheat and win, you don't get the full satisfaction of winning without cheating. Juice made me want to keep on turning the page and reading more. I had a great time reading this book and so will you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vatailwatcher1 More than 1 year ago
Juice: Juice, the author is by Eric Walters, the genre of is a book of non-fiction, but it could definitely be fiction. The main character of this book is Danny, and he plays high school football. He is tall with brown hair and brown eyes. Also he is built, and his favorite place is at the gym. He is the main star of the team. His fans and other players call him Moose because he is big like a moose. I can identify with this character, because when I race go-carts, without my dad cheering me on with my fans, I wouldn't be as interested. So when you have someone that will practice with you it makes a big difference with what you are doing. So it's important to have a good coach like coach Reeves. Also Danny has a best friend named Caleb. He is moose's friend on the field, and off the field. Caleb also loves to play football that is how him and Danny became such good friends. He is one of the four receivers. They are both built, and workout at the gym all the time together. It was during the fall when football season is in. The new coaches are trying to get young kids to take illegal steroids. Then the coaches got busted and were fired. So then the champions were without a coach. The author in this story is trying to inspire young kids to put their minds to it and do what they want. Also they can get things done when they work as a team. Coach Reeves to me is an excellent coach. There is allot of courage and importance because they had hope and they worked together. This book has showed me that if everybody works together as a team good things can happen for the outcome. The coaches that were distributing drugs to minors were busted. Then the board of education hired a really good coach back which was coach Reeves and they had another good season. It was during football season. Then coach Reeves lead his team to the championship. The last play the great Moose was on the loose. He tackled a boy and got the recovered fumble. The boys had great success. Coach Reeves retired, and they got a new coach named Coach Barnes. He was a good coach he had the weight room completely redone also. He had televisions installed also refrigerator put in with power drinks, fruit drinks, and protein drinks, but coach Barnes, and his assistant was busted giving steroids to the players and got caught. So they were fired, and got a couple of years in jail. It was interesting and good. I thought it was a very good book, and if there was a series of these books I would read them. It had mysteries, and crimes that I thought was good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one of the best books I have ever read. It talks about how this football players won the championship for their school. Then there coach retired from the team. Then a new coach comea along and gives Micheal steriods. Micheal is the person in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book but the only thing I didn't like was that some parts were really boaring like when people are talking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This enchanting short novel brought back many warm memories of my own high school days on the football field. Like the main character, young Michael, I had a wise coach/grandfather figure who taught me special and important lessons that I put to use both on and off the playing field. Granted, unlike Michael, I did not consume vast quantities of steroids and frequently fly into fits of 'roid rage', but I nevertheless shared his tremendous love of sport and his life-changing relationship with a much older role model.