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.....

176 pages                      978-0679885504                   Ages 10-13

Keywords:  sports, football, friends, bullies, friendship, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, middle school, conduct of life

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,



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


"Readers will devour this humorous glimpse of what jocks are made of." --School Library Journal, starred review

Cocky seventh-grade super-jock Crash Coogan got his nickname the day he used his first football helmet to knock his cousin Bridget flat on her backside. And he has been running over people ever since, especially Penn Webb, the dweeby, vegetarian Quaker kid who lives down the block. Through the eyes of Crash, readers get a rare glimpse into the life of a bully in this unforgettable and beloved story about stereotypes and the surprises life can bring.---from the publisher

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