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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Tyler McAllister, earlier seen in The Trouble with Lemons and Eye of the Beholder , has gone out for the high school wrestling team, even though he's only in eighth grade. Little does he anticipate that far more strenuous contests will occur off the mat. A teacher's fatal stroke and a coach's injury call up disturbing questions about mortality, but the appearance of a new teacher, the beautiful, young Miss Williams, inspires Tyler's first love. Hayes masterfully blends humor and heartache, casting Tyler as the understated narrator of his own tumultuous affairs. Perceptive, funny and, above all, believable, Tyler struggles to strike a balance between emotional extremes as he endures the confusion and chaos of early adolescence. Hayes has a rare understanding of his characters' milieu, and readers will particularly appreciate his canny descriptions of school functionaries, such as the overeager social worker who presides over the ``crisis intervention center'' set up to help the essentially untroubled student body deal with the death of ``Old Lady Waverly.'' The author's steady hand allows the reader, like Tyler, to see serious or disturbing events for what they are--part of life. Ages 11-up. (Dec.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Eighth graders Tyler and Lymie, who appeared in Hayes's The Trouble with Lemons (1991) and Eye of the Beholder (1992, both Godine), try out for the high school wrestling team, which needs competitors in the lower weight divisions. In the meantime, Tyler, who provides the first-person narrative, falls hopelessly in love with his young science teacher. After drumming up the courage to invite her to his house for Thanksgiving dinner, he's crushed when she unexpectedly arrives with a date-his wrestling coach. He's also facing the stress of his first meet, which is coming up quickly. Lymie, Tyler's affable sidekick, provides constant comic relief throughout the story. Hayes adeptly portrays the concerns and insecurities of adolescent boys and also brings out the humor in their self-perceived darkest moments. The dialogue rings true to the age group, and Tyler's feelings, which range from euphoria to depression, are thoughtfully drawn. Here's hoping that we haven't seen the last of these boys.-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567922448
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    do you have what it takes to survive the challenge of wrestling

    Tyler McAllister a small 86 pound 8th grader that wants to play a sport to be known in his school. At school in math class over the speaker Tyler herd the wrestling coach, ask for anyone who wants to wrestle. The wrestling team was small so coach was even taking 8th graders in fort weigh classes he needed to fill. Tyler and his best friend Lymie go out for wrestling after a lot of arguing. They were so excited for the first wrestling practice they have ever been to. When they met the wrestling coach they didn¿t like wrestling anymore. Coach was mean and was going to make Tyler gain 20 pounds or more for the weight class 104 or he would get torn apart. They had to work so hard in practice and Lymie was ready to die in a hard practice. In parts of the book they switch with wrestling, Tyler¿s love life, and people dieing. Do you think Tyler can survive his with all the pressure on him? This book was a very good book but the author really drags things on at times in the story. I didn¿t like how the author always talked about how hard there practice was and how much they suffered in there practice. There are also many good things about this book but I am going to only list a few of them. The author did a great job when explaining the romantic parts of the story. The author really makes you want to cry every time someone dies in the story. Well I hope you go to your nearby library and look this book up and enjoy it just like I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    Corny Corny Corny

    So a kid gets a crush on his teacher. Big whoop. This did not convicne me that the writer knew much about wrestling. Very much for kids. Does not raise any serious issues about the sport.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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