The jock and the nerd, a typical high school story. Stick by Michael Harmon deals with two high school boys that are complete opposites. Brett the football player, goes by the nickname of Stick since each time a football is thrown his way, he catches it. He has dedicated his life to the game of football for as long as he can remember and is without a doubt a well known figure in the school.
Then we have Preston, the school nerd if you will. Incredibly small in size compared to the other students in school. He is definetly not considered to be one of the cool kids, which is why it is so unheard of that Preston and Brett eventually wind up becoming friends. The two new friends solidify their friendship and immediately begin to lend a helping hand to each other while dealing with some pretty heavy stuff going on, do not want to spoil it though, it is a great read!
This book is amazing for high school students who may have that feeling they are better than most based on their popularity level and what sports they play. Social class differences are tough in schools and this book allows for students to see that often times we are more alike than we are different. This is a great book for all, but especially for the boys in sports.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Stick is pressured to succeed not only by his teammates and entire school, but his alcoholic father as well. He falls into a pattern of bullying with his teammates until he gets to know Preston, the new target, better. He quits the football team and stands off against his irate teammates and father. Preston helps Stick overcome his family situation at home, and Stick helps Preston overcome his own trials and tribulations. In the end, Stick and Preston form a lasting and rewarding friendship.
Personal Critique: I was very reluctant to read this book because of the cover and the fact that football was the basic premise of it. However, I soon came to learn that the football team was just a plot point and the real focus was on challenging stereotypes and forming meaningful friendships. I think this book is a great example of challenging toxic masculinity and showcasing strength in being empathetic and caring.
Age Recommendation: 13+
Eventually, Brett becomes less interested in football. He starts noticing that his football friends pick on Preston. He helps Preston and they end up becoming friends after helping each other with many things that are going on with their lives.
Stick is a good book for young teenage boys to help them understand high school life. It could help teach them how to deal with bullying and how to handle it. It would recommend this book to even middle schoolers. I think around maybe like 6th-grade maybe even 5th grade and it can go up to high school. This would be a nice book to recommend to the class to read so everyone can learn.
Brett, also know as, Stick, has been dedicated to football since he was a child, mostly loving the game, but the love for football has been fading as Stick grows older. Stick starts to see the bullying his teammates inflict on Preston, so Stick quits the team. Stick has this unending pressure from his team, coaches and father and has a scholarship to UCLA in the making right as he quits. Preston and Stick inevitably find there way into a friendship because Stick is failing math and Preston is a "nerd". As this friend she begins to evolve Stick sees the power from Preston's quiet strengths. A superhero element starts to rise, and with Preston's guidance, Stick begins to parse the difference between motivations and results. Stick starts to try and find a way to play football without violating his moral code.
This book is a good read about how to use your "power" for the good. I recommend this book to everyone really to read but especially high school boys in sports and not in sports to see that your friends don't have to be separated.
This review is for the book titled Stick by Michael Harmon.
This book is about a young man named Brett who is also known as Stick because the football always sticks in his hands once he catches it, leading him to be one of the best decorated players in his school and community. Brett has the potential to play college ball for sure, but maybe even professional ball.
There is a problem though, Brett loves the game of football, but he hates what his dad and coach have turned football into for him. Brett struggles with this love/hate relationship but soon realizes that he hates the surrounding circumstances more than he loves the game so he quits his team. This unleashes a fury of anger from his dad, his coach and his teammates.
In the midst of all this, Brett meet a peculiar young man named Preston. Preston, to outward appearance, is the definition of nerd. He is scrawny, brainy, does not have an athletic bone in his body and he has odd interests. Brett’s group of friends picks on Preston and by Brett trying to reach out to the boy is how their friendship begins.
As time moves along, Brett learns a lot from his new friend that explains his odd interests, which strangely enough, give Brett the courage that he needs to face all those who hate him right now. Preston also helps Brett to make amends with his dad who is an alcoholic and to find a way to play football again. Brett also helps Preston to overcome some of his challenges.
In the end, Brett and Preston form a lasting friendship with mutual respect for each other’s interests and talents. Both boys learn that the other is not as weak as they first imagined or as stereotypical as imagined.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I did not think I would since it is a book about football. However, football is that background story. The real story is about Brett and Preston overcoming their challenges and realizing that the other is not what they thought they would be.
I thought this book did a great job of showing its young readers how to stand up to bullying from kids and adults, how to overcome your personal challenges, how to think for yourself and how to take steps to make life what you want it to be. It shows that this is possible even though some of those steps are incredibly challenging, requiring a brave and committed person.
I would recommend this book for 6th grade and up if the student is reading it himself or herself. Middle school is the years where you shape much of who you will become, and students are impressionable then. If they read a good story like this that shows that the nerd and the jock have problems, both can tackle their own issues and both can find friendship and value in the other, then maybe the reader can be braver and face some of their personal issues too. I also feel that this could be read by the teacher to a 5th or 6th grade class and be effective.