Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Crack Coach

Publish October 22, 2015

In Steven Sandor’s Crack Coach, high school football becomes a political game that Maurice Dumars is ill-equipped to play. Although he’s just a freshman in high school – a “minor niner” – Maurice is the top pick for the Loyolla High School football team, just like his famous brother, Fabien “The Streak” Dumars. Maurice loves football, and he knows he’s talented, but he can’t shake the rumour that he was picked because of his brother’s reputation. On the other hand, Veejay Panesar is easily the weakest player chosen. Veejay knows he’ll spend most of the season on the bench, but he’s just happy he made the team. His parents are loyal supporters of the football coach, Bob Jones, who is also Toronto’s newly elected mayor. After the drug related death of Veejay’s cousin, Ronny, Coach Jones provided much-needed support to the Panesar family. In their eyes, Coach Jones – now Mayor Jones – can do no wrong. But the coach has trouble finding time for both the team and his political duties. His erratic behavior and media antics lead to widespread reports that he is doing drugs and consorting with criminals. Suddenly, Coach Jones seems less concerned with training his team, and more concerned with exploiting Maurice’s talent to bolster his own failing reputation. When word leaks of Jones’ involvement in Ronny’s criminal activities, Veejay and Maurice decide to take the coach down. An energy rush from practice to game day, Crack Coach is perfect for reluctant readers. Sandor’s fast moving narrative uses newspaper articles to break up long blocks of text and these quick summaries aid reader comprehension. High octane action, relatable characters, and a nod to recent events in Toronto make Crack Coach an ideal choice for middle grade readers.

Crack Coach

Steven Sandor
ISBN 13: 978-1-4594-0980-4

Karen Doerksen
Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.  

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