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About the Author

Carl Deuker is the award-winning author of eight popular young adult sports novels, six of which have been published by Houghton. His most recent title, Gym Candy, was named a Texas Lone Star title, while his previous novel, Runner, was a Booklist Top 10 Sports Book. He lives in Seattle, WA with his family. www.membersauthorsguild.net/carldeuker


The game action alone is riveting even for readers who don't know a naked bootleg from a hook-and-ladder play, but Deuker enriches the tale with several welltuned subplots and a memorable narrator/protagonist who turns a corner on his own self-image while weathering brutal tests of his courage and determination. Definitely one for the top shelf.--Booklist, starred review Told in the first person, the story is initially funny, but the humor is soon eclipsed by the suspenseful plot and the copious play-by-play football action. These elements work together to create a rousing climax, which is then followed by a softer and more reflective denouement. Nicely played. --Kirkus ReviewsDeuker has crafted another entertaining and readable football story. The game descriptions are well done and will appeal to players and fans. Many teens who dreamed of being a star as children but don't make the team in high school will identify with Mitch. --School Library Journal
A strong football story with nail-biting action and intrigue and a strong, appealing protagonist.--VOYAIt's a solid Cooneyesque mystery/thriller, though, with enough straight-up gridiron action to draw a crowd, and it won't take much booktalking to sell middle-schoolers on this title.--The Bulletin
Gym Candy
An IRA 2009 Young Adult ChoiceTexas Lone Star 2009 list
Riveting --
The Bulletin
An eye-opening recommendation to all budding athletes. --VOYA
A superb sports novel with no easy resolutions. --Kirkus Reviews Runner
A Booklist Top Ten Sports Book
A VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers
Nominated as YA book of the Year in Texas Deuker fans won't be disappointed.--The Bulletin
Suspenseful and involving. . . . Chance's dilemmas will quickly draw in readers and keep them turning the pages. --Kliatt Sinister goings-on, a murder, last minute heroism, and a new life rich with possibility make this a satisfying read. --Kirkus Reviews High Heat
A Booksense 76 Pick
A Booklist Top 10 Youth Sports BookWinner of the Golden Sower Award High Heat joins the Deuker canon with yet another fine study of a conflicted soul whose ethical salvation is determined in a sporting arena. --The Bulletin Good baseball books are in short supply for teens; do not let this one slip past. --VOYA
Night Hoops
An ALA Best Book (star) An excellent novel. --
School Library Journal Deuker adds further luster to his reputation for top-flight sports writing matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories. --Kirkus Reviews Heart of a Champion
YA book of the Year in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Tennessee. Paperback edition available from Little, Brown.Painting the Black
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Winner
An ALA Best Book
(star) It ain't pretty, but it's real. --
The Bulletin
The well-written sports scenes will draw readers, but it is Ryan's moral courage that will linger when the reading is done. --Booklist

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