Mick Sullivan likes reading thrillers, daydreaming about Tabitha Slater, and teasing his archenemy, Boot Quinn.
Boot Quinn likes playing his guitar, daydreaming about Tabitha Slater, and punching his adversary, Mick Sullivan.
The two eighth graders are rivals in every way, and with two fights in the first week of school, they've set the stage for a yearlong showdown. That is, until a new principal arrives on the scene and forces Mick and Boot to spend an hour and a half each day playing games together. Two enemies, one small room, and no adult supervision—battle lines are bound to be crossed.
As the wins and losses are tallied, the boys find themselves fighting for their classmates' attention, a cute girl's affection, and their own fathers' respect.
But how far are they willing to go to win? And who are they really fighting?
There's only one way to find out.
About the Author
Carol Gorman is the author of many books for young readers, including Dork In Disguise, Dork on the Run, and A Midsummer Night's Dork. Ms. Gorman lives with her husband, writer Ed Gorman, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she also teaches at Coe College.
Read an Excerpt
By Carol Gorman
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Carol Gorman
All right reserved.
I walk down the hall before school starts and nod at the Water Street kids. They say, "hey," or nod back, like we're brothers. I hardly look at the jocks or the pretty boys. I'm a ghost to them, invisible--they don't even know I'm here. Everybody's opening their lockers and slamming them shut.
"Hey, Boot!" a voice calls out. I turn to see Jerrod Kitchen standing at his locker. "We got a game after school," J.K. says. (All the Water Street kids call him by his initials.) "Meet at the Corner."
I hold up my hand to tell him I'll be there. That's when I see Mick Sullivan coming down the hall. He's watching me, and he's got this big smile on his face that says he thinks he's better than everybody else. That smile alone makes me want to smash him. He's a big kid, built like a road grader. He plants himself right in front of me so I have to look up to see him, and he grins down at my face. "Hi, Boot, you lunatic. You've been on my mind. . . . You want to know why?"
"No," I say.
People stop to watch. Some are my friends--kids from Water Street. They have big, staring eyes and kind of a bloodthirsty look. They expect me to throw the first punch as usual. Even though he's got thirty pounds on me, I'm not scared.
He goes, "It's because I realized last night who you remind me of: Yosemite Sam. You know, that guy in the Bugs Bunny cartoons with the cowboyclothes and the long mustache? He's got a very bad temper, and he's always shooting off his guns the way you shoot off your mouth."
I hear a few snickers around me.
"I think I'll start calling you 'Yosemite.' How do ya like that?"
I'm tired because I didn't get much sleep last night, so I don't punch him, even though he deserves it. Instead of hitting him, I look up his nostrils and say, "You got a booger up there."
Everybody laughs loud now, so on the scorecard in my head, I give myself a point.
Mick takes a step back and laughs. "That's it?" He holds out his hands, palms up. "That's all ya got?" He laughs again. "I expected you to take a punch or at least insult me."
"He said you got a booger up your nose, Sullivan," J.K. says. I realize now he's standing behind me. "Seems like an insult to me."
"Yeah." But I say it a second or two too late, so I sound like a little kid who's letting his big brother do the talking.
Mick goes, "That's no insult. You should've said something really insulting like . . ." He stares over my head and squints like he's thinking real hard. "Hmm, something like, 'I once scraped something off the bottom of my shoe that looked like you.' Or wait, here's another one: 'You look familiar--oh, no, I was thinking about something I baited my hook with once.' That wasn't too bad. Or you could even have said, 'Hey, is that your face, or did your neck throw up?'"
Even my friends laugh at that one. I suddenly feel hot, and my armpits are sweating.
Mick grins down at me. "That last one is especially funny, if I do say so myself."
"How about this one?" I ask him. "'I hear your dad was thrown in the slammer for drunk driving again. He might as well be lying in a gutter somewhere with the rest of the garbage.'"
That gets him like I thought it would. He freezes a second, then lunges at me, and knocks me over. He gets down and starts slugging me in the stomach. Mick isn't tough, but he's big, and he's really mad, so he doesn't pull his punches. I don't feel the pain now--that'll come later. Right now I'm thinking about holding my own. I get in some good licks before Mr. Jefferson hauls Mick up by his collar to a standing position.
"That's it, Sullivan," he yells in Mick's face. "You, too, Quinn," he hollers at me as I get to my feet. "What's the matter with you boys? Didn't your last suspensions teach you anything?" He grabs my arm in a steel-vise grip and marches us down the hall toward the principal's office. Everyone turns to watch; some look disgusted, but a few of my friends hold their fists up in kind of a salute to me.
Mr. Jefferson doesn't let go till we're in the main office. He points at two chairs. "Sit. And no talking." He leans over and says something I can't hear to Mrs. Taylor, the principal's secretary. She nods and shoots us a mean look. He walks into the principal's office. I don't hear too good out of my left ear, so I turn to point my right ear in the direction of the office. I figure he's talking to the principal. His name is Mr. Block, but most of us call him Blockhead. Not to his face, though.
Then I remember. Mr. Block had a heart attack. I heard the teachers say it was because of all the years of putting up with the rotten kids at this school, but they're wrong. He didn't put up with us at all. He was always suspending people for a week. Two weeks ago it was me. And Mick Sullivan.
Mick sits on the chair across from me. I don't look at him. I'm sick and tired of how he's always in my face, acting like he's better than me. I knew calling his old man a piece of garbage would make him mad, but I didn't make up the part about the drunk driving. I heard it from three people.Mr. Jefferson comes out of the principal's office and gestures for Mick and me to come. We get up and walk behind the counter and into Blockhead's office.
Excerpted from Games by Carol Gorman Copyright © 2007 by Carol Gorman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have like nothing to say about this book. It was just... there. It was predictable and moved very slowly. The characters were okay, but really the book was not too impressive.
Mick Sullivan and Boot Quinn have been enemies for quite some time, and now they have a new principal who believes in solving problems differently. Thus, for two periods a day, they must come to the office, and sit in a room together and play board games until they can figure out how to get along. At first, it makes them angrier, and they challenge each other to a series of dares based on the things that are most important to each of them. They also both have a crush on Tabitha, who is secretly taking bets on how their daily games and dares will turn out. Both boys have issues at home: Mick is a constant disappointment to his dad since he doesn't like sports, and motherless Boot is often knocked around by his father and older brother. Told from both Mick's and Boot's point of view, the story is realistic and interesting, with great characters.
Two boys are always fighting at school and the new principal orders them to play board games together everyday for an hour or so at school until they can learn to get along. Both boys have quite a lot going on a home and gradually learn to trust each other through this exercise. Meanwhile the hottest girl in school starts befriending each boy, yet is unbeknownst to them, benefitting from betting on who will win their next fight. I have to admit I turned the pages pretty quickly, especially when the boys dared each other to do something extreme.
Two boys who can't stop provoking each other are forced by their new principal to play games with each other each day during an in-school suspension. The forced time together breaks down barriers between the boys and they become, if not friends, at least, no longer enemies.Will have some appeal to boys and game players. Tension in the story is mild and could have been stronger to draw the reader in more toward the stories of the two boys and their very similar families.
this book is prety cool. i relate cuz im in 8th grade too. defenatly read!