Synopses & Reviews
Paul Fisher sees the world from behind glasses so thick he looks like a bug-eyed alien. But hes not so blind that he cant see there are some very unusual things about his familys new home in Tangerine County, Florida. Where else does a sinkhole swallow the local school, fire burn underground for years, and lightning strike at the same time every day? The chaos is compounded by constant harassment from his football-star brother, and adjusting to life in Tangerine isnt easy for Paul—until he joins the soccer team at his middle school. With the help of his new teammates, Paul begins to discover what lies beneath the surface of his strange new hometown. And he also gains the courage to face up to some secrets his family has been keeping from him for far too long. In Tangerine, it seems, anything is possible.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"Deuker creates a textured cast of parents, coaches, and teens and deftly handles themes of personal ethics, teamwork, burgeoning friendships, and coping with an abusive adult."
"A largely well-executed exploration of team spirit, friendship and the devastating impact of untrustworthy adults."
"Basketball fans will love the realistic hardwood action."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"The novel includes descriptions of many basketball plays and strategies, which should make this book particularly appealing to fans of the game."
"This is solid Deuker turf, populated by good kids trapped between conscience and goals. Expect fans to grab this title as soon as it hits the shelf."
"Short, action-packed chapters make for a quick read, but the story's underlying messages will linger. . . . What makes this story special is the careful handling of an incredibly difficult topic."
—VOYA, 5Q 4P J S
"Deuker's ability to create fully realized characters who wrestle with moral dilemmas while incorporating plenty of game action raises his novel above typical sports fiction by several notches. This one will satisfy the author's longtime fans and win him many new ones."
—School Library Journal
“A story that delivers baseball action along with a rich psychological portrait, told through a compelling first–person narration.”
—School Library Journal
“High Heat joins the Deuker canon with yet another fine study of a conflicted soul whose ethical salvation is determined in a sporting arena, and once more readers are left to ponder whether a tainted success loses its sweet savor.”
—Bulletin “Deuker fills the page with dozens of exciting play–by–play sequences; these serve not only to move the story along chronologically, but also act as the metronome for Shane’s personal story of loss, recovery and renewal.”
“There’s enough taut sports action here to satisfy the most avid fan.”
—Booklist “[Deuker] creates another captivating story. Readers will think they are sitting in the front row with a Cracker Jack box and a Coke . . . do not let this one slip past.”
"The sports and suspenseful action will easily draw readers, as will the gripping adventures deeper issues of crime, class, ineffectual parents, and a teens questions about his uncertain future." Booklist, ALA
"Writing in a fast-paced, action-packed, but at the same time reflective style, Deuker uses fewer sports scenes than in his previous novels, and instead uses running as a hook to entice readers into a perceptive coming-of-age novel." School Library Journal
"Fast-paced and suspenseful." Horn Book
"Once again Deuker strikes a happy balance between issues and action, examining topics such as parental pressure and the edgy realtionship between play makers and their less gifted teammates while transporting his readers right into the bleachers with vivid play-by-plays." —Bulletin
* "The author perfectly captures the swirl of ideas in the adolescent mind. . . . Deuker delivers a story that features rounded characters dealing with real problems, set against the backdrop of a varsity basketball season. . . .This is an excellent novel."—SLJ, starred review
"Deuker adds further luster to his reputation for top-flight sportswriting matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories." —Kirkus Reviews
"A richly imagined read about an underdog coming into his own."—Bulletin * "Smart, adaptable, and anchored by a strong sense of self-worth, Paul makes a memorable protagonist in a cast of vividly drawn characters; multiple yet taut plotlines lead to a series of gripping climaxes and revelations. Readers are going to want more from this author."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Breaks the mold."—Publishers Weekly ABAs Pick of the Lists An ALA Best Book for Young Adults A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book A Horn Book Fanfare Selection An IRA Young Adults Choice A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
"The game action alone is riveting even for readers who dont 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 Reviews
"Deuker 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."—VOYA
"It'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
An IRA 2009 Young Adult Choice Texas 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 Book Winner 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
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
"Deuker skillfully complements a sobering message with plenty of exciting on-field action…[A] solid addition to the sports fiction shelf."--Booklist, 9/1/07 Booklist, ALA
"Deuker continues his run as premier author of provocative YA sports novels...[kick] off the football season with this riveting title…" The Bulletin 9/2007
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Deuker...knows his stuff...This is a solid sports tale with a valuable message."--KLIATT September 2007 KLIATT
"[A] great addition to both school and public libraries and an eye-opening recommendation to all budding athletes."--VOYA October 2007 VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"Deuker realistically portrays the paranoia, acne, and emotional roller-coaster...of steroid use." SLJ 10/2007 School Library Journal
"Deuker, adept at capturing the thrills during the game, proves talented at dramatizing Ryan's torment in the face of his friend's deeds; the depiction of a boy coming into his own is resonant and inspiring." Kirkus Reviews
High school senior point guard Jonas Dolan is on the fast track to a basketball career until an unthinkable choice puts his future on the line.
Jonas Dolan, is a high school point guard phenom whose athletic star is on the rise. When his teammate confides that their charismatic coach sexually abused him, Jonas must choose between honoring and protecting his friend or preserving his dreams of a career in basketball. Another captivating psychological sports novel from best-selling author Carl Deuker, in which riveting basketball games combine with ethical ambiguities and the issue of sex abuse in sports.
Levi was simple, like a child. It was the best thing about him, and it was the worst, too.
When high school senior Jonas moves to Seattle, he is glad to meet Levi, a nice, soft-spoken guy and fellow basketball player. Suspense builds like a slow drumbeat as readers start to smell a rat in Ryan Hartwell, a charismatic basketball coach and sexual predator. When Levi reluctantly tells Jonas that Hartwell abused him, Jonas has to decide whether he should risk his future career to report the coach. Pitch-perfect basketball plays, well-developed characters, and fine storytelling make this psychological sports novel a slam dunk.
Like the game of baseball, life is quirky and unpredictable, as Shane Hunter discovers in the spring of his sophomore year. Suddenly and without warning his life of privilege is turned upside down. And just as suddenly, life begins to seem utterly without fairness or purpose to him.
Exciting, well-written sports scenes transport readers right into the stands while complex issues engage their hearts and minds. For here is a novel of loss, of morality, and of the rare, redemptive power of baseball. Can speaking the truth really determine lives? Just how does one accept, move on, and begin doing the right thing?
But the weather-beaten sailboat Chance Taylor and his father call home is thirty years old and hasnt sailed in years. One step from both homelessness and hunger, Chance worries about things other kids his age never give a thought: Where will the money come for the electricity bill, grocery bill, and moorage fees? So when a new job falls his way, he jumps at the opportunity. He knows how much he will earn; what he doesnt know is how much he will pay.
Nick Abbott and Trent Dawson have nothing in common but basketball. Or so it seems. But as the basketball season progresses, their lives become unexpectedly intertwined. In this story of an unlikely bond, award-winning author Carl Deuker explores that dark and confusing place between loneliness and friendship, between faithfulness and betrayal. Filled with gripping game play, the novel will leave readers wondering how much they themselves would reach out to a kid like Trent.
A season with the toughest soccer team in the county gives twelve-year-old Paul the confidence to stand up to his wicked brother.
Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel. When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss. Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field. Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch? Or an ineligible player? In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he's done. In the end, the truth surprises everyone.
Look, Mick,” he said, youre going to find out from somebody in the gym, so you might as well find out from me. Those supplements youre taking? They might get you a little bigger, but just a little. If youre after serious results, theres other stuff that produces better results much faster, stuff that a lot of guys in the gym use.” What other stuff?” You know what Im talking aboutgym candy.”
Runningback Mick Johnson has dreams: dreams of cutting back, finding the hole, breaking into the open, and running free with nothing but green grass ahead. He has dreams of winning and of being the best. But football is a cruel sport. It requires power, grace, speed, quickness, and knowledge of the game. It takes luck, too. One crazy bounce can turn a likely victory into sudden defeat. What elite athlete wouldnt look for an edge? A way to make him bigger, stronger, faster?
This novel explores the dark corners of the heart of a young football player as he struggles for success under the always glaringand often unforgivingstadium lights.
In his senior year of high school, late bloomer Ryan Ward has just begun to feel the magic of baseball - the magic of catching a wicked slider, of throwing a runner out, of training hard and playing hard and pushing his limits. Giving up baseball would be like getting off the most exciting ride of his life. But when one of his teammates clearly pushes the limits too far, Ryan is faced with a heartbreaking dilemma: he must choose between his love for the game and his sense of integrity - two things that, in his mind, baseball should bring together.
About the Author
Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.