Monday, July 23, 2018

Teen Tuesday: Hit Count by Chris Lynch

Hit Count by Chris Lynch. 368 p. Algonquin Young Readers, May, 2015. 9781616202507. (Own)

The reader meets Arlo Brodie as an eager, articulate freshman who is eager to please his football-fanatic father and measure up to his brother, who is a senior and on the varsity team. His mother is less than pleased and none of the Brodie men pay attention to her "file" about football, hit counts and traumatic brain injury. 

Arlo's star is rising and his brother's is falling. As this happens readers begin to notice changes in Arlo. The reader likes Arlo and roots for him but at some point realizes that the articulate, kind student-athlete is disappearing and there's nothing we can do about it. We just hope some adult in Arlo's life notices. It's complicated though. Self-interest abounds. 

Lynch effectively conveys the thrill of playing football with the clear and always present danger of permanent injury in an engaging, nuanced story. 

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