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Author: Kester, Eric
Publisher: farrar Straus Giroux/ Macmillan
Year Published: 2019
ISBN: 9780374307622
Grades: Grades 9 to 12

Gut Check

Reviewed by:

Talented author Eric Kester captures the intensity of sports in a small town in a darkly comic high school drama. Wyatt, a kind, genuine, overweight boy wants to play football on Grayport’s championship-winning team – not for the fame, glory, or girls, but to build a better, closer relationship with his brother Brett, the star quarterback. An environmental disaster of Red Tide leaves the fishing village devastated, and that coupled with Brett injured by a severe concussion has Wyatt trying to keep secrets and ‘listen to his gut’ to find a way forward. With irreverent humor and stark honesty, this realistic novel explores brotherhood, fat shaming and other bullying, emotional abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and the complexities of masculinity. Young adults looking for a sports story will find much more in this impactful novel filled with humor and emotion.

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