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KLIATTOur first impression of Rooster Cobb, nicknamed for exuberantly waking up his parents in the mornings when he was a child, is provided by his high school English teacher, recently turned guidance counselor. She describes Rooster as a gifted writer with no manners or respect for adults or the system. He is in danger of not graduating, and as a last-ditch effort to get school credit through a service project, he is given an "assignment" to work with a four-member bowling team from Chamber House, a group home for mentally challenged adults. They need coaching to get ready for an upcoming Special Olympics. Rooster is surprised that the team wants to interview him; he simply plans to make a bad impression. To his surprise, he is chosen. He is not committed to this weekly task until one of the team members dies of a heart attack. At this point, this team of unique individuals becomes a teaching tool for this lost young man. Lacking self-confidence and still grieving for his father, Rooster learns to reach out and to trust his own gifts. Though the characters are scantily developed and the story drags a bit in the middle, this is a worthy story about discovering self-confidence. (Underage drinking and language.) KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Orca, 208p., Ages 12 to 18.