Muckers

Muckers

by Sandra Neil Wallace

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375867545
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/08/2013
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,259,387
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

SANDRA NEIL WALLACE was a news journalist and ESPN sports announcer for more than 15 years before leaving television to write novels. She lives with her husband, author Rich Wallace, and their shelter dog, Lucy, in New Hampshire. Her first novel, Little Joe, was released by Knopf in 2010.

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Muckers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Red lives in a small Arizona town, one that will soon be just about shut down because the copper has been all been taken from the mine.  This is the last year the town's high school will exist, making the final football season extra special.  The Muckers don't have money for fancy equipment but they are tenacious, going the extra mile at practice to be the best at their sport.  As the Muckers' quarterback, Red feels the weight on his shoulders; can he encourage his teammates to continue fighting their way into the win column?  Add to that the racial tension in town--Red's best friend is Mexican American and Red has feelings for that young man's sister.  Mexicans live in a different part of town from the rest of the town residents so hiding from everyone while feeling the bloom of young love is difficult.  Red's family is almost in crisis mode--moving away, Red getting ready for college, the entire family still grieving the loss of Red's older brother a few years early at Iwo Jima.  Based on the true story.  An engaging story that unfortunately might be a tough sell to teens due to the timeframe in which the story is set.  
TheStephanieLoves More than 1 year ago
There are two things that matter to the town of Hatley, Arizona: mining and football. And that's about it. In 1950, when the copper veins—the town's largest source of labor—begin to dry up and threaten to shut down not only the mine, but also the entire town, the future seems bleak with only the smallest feather of hope remaining: Hatley High School's football team's final season. Set in the grim, desperate backdrop of the Korean War during the second Communist scare, Muckers is a story about the team that had all odds against them, but still found a way to run and fight and survive through the muck—and emerge not only alive, but also triumphant. This is a football story, yes, but it's also a war story, as well as a family story, a love story, a personal story—a very real story. Red O'Sullivan is no stranger to wartime's tragic effects; the last war that swept the globe changed everything in his life, and this new one is about to do the same. As quarterback, he has a sense of dismay knowing his team's the smallest, scrawniest in Arizona, but it's certainly not the weakest—and that's what keeps him holding on, because it may be the only thing Hatley has left. The last time the town saw something so hopeful was when Red's older brother, Bobby, brought home the Northern title nine years back. Now, everyone's counting on Red to redeem the collapsing town, and this just may be his last shot. This book was really slow-paced, which had me skimming a lot; I feel it wouldn't hold the attention of younger readers well. However, I'm a huge fan of sports novels and so I refused to give in too easily, and in the end, I am so, so glad I did. Muckers combines Red's frank, but heartbreakingly tenacious narrative with local newspaper clippings of the time, to expose the untold, valiant history of the real-life Jerome Muckers. Wallace gives careful, stimulating attention to period detail and breathes life into the inspired fictional town of Hatley. There are so many different issues within this book that she handles well, including those on politics, race, the real meaning of family, teamwork, and never giving up; Muckers could really teach our middle and high schoolers about succeeding in even the most disadvantageous of circumstances, just by persevering. I was particularly intrigued by the origins of this novel, explained beautifully in the author's note. This football team literally had nothing left for them, but they fought hard to earn the only type of victory they could reach. The civil rights issues are interesting, as well; while most American high schools at this time were segregated, Jerome, and Hatley, were rare in that it was inhabited by both caucasians and Mexican-Americans. However, even though they all lived together, the racial tensions are still clearly prevalent, and the way the town manages to overcome them—even if only for the sake of the football team—is glittering, exultant. Pros: Raw; hits exactly the right notes // Moving story // Captures the genuine hopes and worries and fears of the age // Vibrant, distinct characters // Forbidden romance sidestory // Detailed, suspenseful sports fiction // Preserves the amazing Muckers football team in literature Cons: On the slow side // The writing style itself isn't particularly impressive Verdict: Friday Night Lights meets Remember the Titans in this highly-charged, visceral young adult novel that has both spirit and soul. Harrowing, eye-opening, and tenderly honest, Muckers masterfully recounts an inspiring story about how one resilient high school football team finds victory through enduring the tragic, unforgiving demands of war and the injustices of racial divide. Sandra Neil Wallace did a marvelous thing by digging up the forgotten letters and faded newspapers that made up this previously overlooked narrative, and bringing it to light. This is the kind of story that deserves a special spot in American football history. Fortunately, through this novel, the Hatley Muckers get the chance to prove themselves, while the real-life Jerome Muckers, in their blazing glory, get the chance to be remembered. Rating: 8 out of 10 hearts (4 stars): An engaging read that will be worth your while; highly recommended. Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Random House and TLC!).