It is about time to get back to school (waits for the mixture of groans and cheers). One of the fun things to look forward to is the release of the South Dakota YARP books list. The list is full of great titles. In this review, I read on of the books on the high school list: Gutless by Carl Dueker.
Gutless focuses on a young man, Brock Ripley, about to enter high school. He has a lot of athletic ability, but never really got involved in team sports until he was talked into going out for the soccer team. While on the middle school team, Brock discovered he had great hands. Then one day he gets asked to catch some footballs from the future high school starting quarterback. He gets the bug and as a freshman, he has a chance to make the varsity team.
He loves football, but the one thing that holds him back is that he is afraid to get hit. Even as a goalie, he was afraid to take a hit from a hard kicked ball. He soon finds out that this fear of getting hit is a big problem. He soon get demoted to the freshman team and is rarely used. While all of this is happening, Brock must handle in his life. His father is dealing with a debilitating muscular disorder. A new friend that has become the target of bullying by the varsity members of the football team. He struggles with how he fits in the world as a student, a friend, and a son. Can he find the courage to do the right thing? Can he get through high school unscathed?
This was a very good story that anyone that has been involved in sports or watched someone get bullied and wondered if you should say something or do something. Many times we think it is easy and say we would always stand up against wrong doing, but it is not always that simple. The story from Carl Dueker is similar to his popular book Gym Candy. If you like stories that connect to sports, you will not want to miss this one.