Arlo Brodie loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder. Read more...
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Arlo Brodie loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder. That's where he belongs, leading his team to championships, becoming "Starlo" on his way to the top. Arlo's dad cheers him on, but his mother quotes head injury statistics and refuses to watch games. Arlo's girlfriend tries to make him see how dangerously he's playing; when that doesn't work, she calls time out on their relationship. Even Arlo's coaches begin to track his hit count, ready to pull him off the field when he nears the limit. But Arlo's not worried about tallying collisions. The winning plays, the cheering crowds, and the adrenaline rush are enough to convince Arlo that everything is OK--in spite of the pain, the pounding, the dizziness, and the confusion.
Hit Count explores America's love affair with football and our attempts to reconcile the clear evidence of its dangers with our passion for the game.
- ISBN-13: 9781616202507
- ISBN-10: 1616202505
- Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
- Publish Date: May 2015
- Page Count: 368
- Reading Level: Ages 14-18
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-16
- Reviewer: Staff
In this brutal, no-holds-barred drama, Lynch (Killing Time in Crystal City) paints a grim portrait of a teen addicted to the physicality of high-impact sports like football. Arlo Brodie, an up-and-coming freshman linebacker, discovers a talent for taking down anyone in his path on the field, and he revels in the contact and the rush. Over the next few years, he grows obsessed with training and working out, becoming a star varsity player as a sophomore and earning the nickname “Starlo.” But the harder he hits, the more abuse his body takes, worrying his friends, family, girlfriend, and teammates. Arlo’s entire identity is rooted in dominating the field and crushing his opponents, but he may have no choice but to stop, as injuries take their toll. Lynch offers a powerful, provocative look at the dark side of popular sports and their potential cost, using Arlo as a cautionary, even tragic tale. Arlo’s rise and fall is handled skillfully, allowing readers into the self-destructive, self-deceiving mind-set of an addict without condemning him. The ending is abrupt, however; Arlo’s story feels far from done. Ages 14–up. (May)