Monday, January 04, 2010

Shooting Star by Frederick McKissack Jr.

As far as write-ups go, that was the bomb. He imagined Jayson straining not to do the happy dance. Praise from the seniors, love, or something like it, from McPherson, now this -- Jayson's swagger would only grow. Jomo imagined Jayson's mom not being able to contain her excitement. She was probably calling everybody she knew and would tell people in public who her boy was. [...]
And yet he couldn't stop himself from going back over the phrase "the big knock on him." It always came down to his size. [...] Jayson got "Playing on Any Given Sunday." He got dissed. Couple of inches and thirty pounds. That's all he needed. He'd have instant swagger. (54)

Jomo and Jayson are best friends, playing for the same varsity football team as sophomores. But at the end of the season, while Jayson is getting calls from recruiters from various colleges, Jomo is told that he has two options; get serious or get out. Jomo starts a new training regimen, but it only does so much to increase his stamina, ability, and size. Getting tired of hearing "if only you were bigger," Jomo is tempted to start taking the steroids that everyone else seems to be reeping the benefits from. His choices however lead to some major problems, and not just for his future football career. Fredrick McKissack Jr. drafts a well written sports story in Shooting Star, called a "fascinating look from the viewpoint of the student athlete" by Walter Dean Myers.

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