Box Out (2008)
Box Out (2008)
3.88 of 5 Votes: 4
0439870321 (ISBN13: 9780439870320)
Scholastic Press
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A fairly standard sports-problem novel. This one revolves around a protagonist who, while religious, isn't on board his coach's mandatory prayer meetings. There's also an absent girlfriend on exchange to France, and an aging grandmother. Similar to Chris Crutcher's work, but less intense issues and thinner characterization. Completely PG - virtually nothing that might be considered objectionable.Basketball fans will probably enjoy this one, as Coy writes plenty of hoop with vigor and vitality. Then, the twists and turns move the protagonist away from the game. There's a Phil Knight-like coach who hands out volumes of poetry and some rightous women's hoop.Sadly, this isn't as enjoyable as I'd been hoping for. The big moral crisis is resolved without enough payoff, and the final game, while rewarding, also fell short. Worth reading, but not essential. The lights are on and the game is about to begin. Adrenaline pumps through the veins of every player. The coach enters the locker room, telling the X’s and O’s of that night’s game. Then, the coach orders the players to bow their heads and say The Lord’s Prayer. This is a public high school, you think in the back of your mind; this isn’t legal. Now, the question is do you stand up to your coach, or stay back in the crowd?This perfectly describes the situation of Liam Bergstrom in Box Out by John Coy. Liam is a 6’4 sophomore who has just been brought up from JV basketball to play varsity when a senior goes down. Playing on varsity as a sophomore is unheard-of at Horizon High School in Wisconsin, and Liam is thrilled with the opportunity. That’s before he realizes Coach Kloss of varsity basketball runs things a little differently than JV. Before every game and after the game, the coach forces the players to say the Lord’s Prayer. When Darius (the team’s star player) walks out on the team because of the coach’s policy, Liam begins to realize what is going on. While his mom encourages him to take action, his father tells him to let someone else worry about it, confusing Liam immensely. Liam’s stress level is at an all-time high with his girlfriend Kenzie staying in France for a semester, and he doesn’t know who to listen to anymore. Quickly, friendships are tested for Liam, relationships are tested, and people’s priorities are soon revealed as Liam begins to decide what to do in his stressful high school life.Overall, Box Out flourishes with the fact that the John Coy describes everything in crystal clarity, from the setting to the looks of the characters. Coy has mastered the art of capturing the teenage mind through the vivid experiences he shares with his audience through Liam’s eyes. The exposition of the book starts out a little slow by describing the daily life of Liam, with the twist of Liam being pulled up to varsity. The pace soon quickens in the rising action as the Christian prayers increase with number. Coy has also tackled a major factor of society today in the fact that he gives his clear opinion about the idea of separation between church and state, and raises own questions in our daily lives about what truly acceptable means to different people. The character of Liam is one the audience cannot resist, and will find themselves backing his decision to the very end. The way Coy master the immaturity and rebelliousness of a teenager truly brings his protagonist to life. Coy also manages to create not one true antagonist, but still is able (through multiple characters) pressure Liam in his everyday life. Coy’s setting of the story introduces itself masterfully, taking place in wintertime Wisconsin; it would bring the feeling of basketball season to life even in the middle of summer. Coy also manages to squeeze into this 276 page novel a theme of doing the right thing, no matter what else people say to you to try and change your opinion.Overall, I give this book a 9/10 rating for the fact it develops nicely into a written book over time with just a few flaws. I would’ve put a little more action into the story itself and develop one of (if not more) of the female characters in the story. The story starts out a little slow, but with time, you will figure out why this book is a must read.
A little heavy-handed, sometimes, but ultimately pretty enjoyable.
Awesome book!great details and sensory details
Box Out by John Coy (2008)
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