Crash (nicknamed for his tackling skills as a toddler -- it stuck) Coogan is, appropriately, BMOC ("Big Man On Campus," as they say) .... in the seventh grade. Don't even try to get between this star and his football. Penn Webb, the "odd kid out," however, has tried for years to befriend the sports hero, but, sadly, remains Crash's favorite victim. Then, illness tragically befalls the Coogan family; who are Crash's real friends now? This one is a must-read for boys (and girls) entering the I-would-never-be-caught-dead-talking-to-him/her stage; happily, a taste of character and maturity are only a book away.....


Crash Coogan knows his place in his seventh grade world. It's a place that includes bumping chests with his pal, Mike, playing football together, eyeing chicks together and eating pizza together. His sister, Abby, will not eat anything that has a "face" and is a "greenie" who's trying to create a wildlife habitat out of their backyard to the great frustration of Mom, Dad and the ChemLawn man. Penn Webb also knows his place in the world. He is much loved as the late comer baby that he was, is a Quaker who will not fight with weapons or fists, and is a seventh grade cheerleader, the only boy on the squad. Crash and Mike delight in bullying and harrassing Penn who stoically maintains his cool through out it all. What does it take to get someone to see the world from the other guy's point of view? What does the universe need to deal out for a bully to stop his instinctive attack? Try it out. Walk in Crash's shoes for a few chapters. Do you like him? Do you understand why he is the guy he is? Do you feel his inner ache for someone to notice, to show up and to really care. Now, take a good look at Penn Webb. Who does he remind you of? Can you see the strength and the courage? Crash Coogan looks good in football pads and he loves to use his power, physical and otherwise, to bull his way over other people. But who really is winning this race? This is an amazingly sensitive and probing story that should be required reading for every middle school. 162 pages Ages 10-13

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