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Shutout Hardcover – August 17, 2010

5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-9–Best friends Amanda and Lena have always been an unstoppable pair on the soccer field. Although ninth graders rarely make the varsity team, they are hopeful. But a recent growth spurt has caused Amanda to develop Sever's disease, a temporary disorder that causes significant heel pain and that has affected her game. It's still an unexpected blow, though, when Lena makes the cut and she has been relegated to JV. As much as the two girls try to pretend that their friendship won't be affected, it is; in addition to the different practices and games, Lena is socializing more with the juniors and seniors. Things come to a head when she asks Amanda to accompany her to a party so that she can meet up with a guy she likes. Unable to deceive her dad and stepmom, Amanda comes clean about the evening's activities, and Lena's parents find out where she really was. The dialogue is spot-on, and the characters are fully fleshed out. Amanda's loss of her mom when she was young and the resulting blended family are important threads. Her narration rings true with a captivating mix of teenage humor and insecurity. While there is plenty of soccer action for fans of the sport, the book will also appeal to teens looking for a solid friendship story. Halpin manages to convey the benefits of doing the right thing, but without preachiness.Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A heel condition (as well as being a freshman in a seniority-dominated system) keeps Amanda from making the varsity soccer team. That wouldn’t be so bad except her best friend, Lena, makes the cut, plays like a star, and becomes popular to boot. Amanda, stuck playing goalie for the first time (though turns out she’s pretty good), has to deal with the mortifying crucible of entering high school without the crutch of her best bud, yet eventually she finds some friendly faces and learns a bit about what the choices you make say about you. Lena’s preference for parties and cute boys over a lifelong friend is an all-too-common high-school situation. Halpin (Forever Changes, 2008) has a knack for fleshing out a wide cast of characters and a keen ear for realistic dialogue. While he keeps the soccer-action details subdued, this is still a very sports-oriented read, and he instills a solid sense of what team sports are so good at (building confidence, creating bonds) without sounding like a tired gym teacher repeating maxims about teamwork and sportsmanship. In addition, Amanda makes her share of mistakes involving (others’) drinking and lying but responds to them in a believably smart fashion. A quick, good-natured, and perceptive read about best friends growing apart, no doubt one of the hardest parts of growing up. Grades 8-10. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1 edition (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374368996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374368999
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I'm a writer and a teacher. I've written memoirs, novels for adults, and novels for young adults. I don't know if my interest in and talent at writing YA comes from my experience as a high school teacher or my immaturity. Either way, it's good.

I live in Boston with my wife Suzanne and our three children and our dog, Cooper.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hannah#22 on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am 15, a girl, and also play soccer and thought this was a really great book. You can really relate to what Amanda is going through with this being her first year of high school and living up to the expectations of her parents and her soccer coach. It shows a true look into a girls self-esteem and the pressures faced with in high school. Amanda's best friend, Lena, gets picked to be on the varsity team and Amanda only on the JV. This book tells of how it ended their friendship, soccer, and how they found their way back together.
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By Lexi on May 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This realistic fiction drama is the best, It relates to real life and me being a huge soccer player my self it was just amazing. It kind of even relates to my life a little. I love this book and am so happy I purchased it.
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By Carrie Bray on June 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyable book. I Read it since my daughter was reading it. Good story. Quick read. She liked the story, too.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Rendell on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is such a good book. If someone said that its a terrible book they need to SHUT UP! :D
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Manroe on December 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
the book is easy to follow and is fun and funny also
the book i think is not recommended for kids 12 and older
great book
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