Coverart for item
The Resource Gym candy, by Carl Deuker

Gym candy, by Carl Deuker

Label
Gym candy
Title
Gym candy
Statement of responsibility
by Carl Deuker
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life
Storyline
Tone
Award
  • Iowa Teen Award, 2010.
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2010
Review
  • Gr. 8-11 Having grown up in the shadow of his father's failed NFL career, high-school football player Mick Johnson is determined not to make the same mistakes. But when he's tackled just short of the goal in a pivotal game, he decides that vitamin supplements aren't enough and begins purchasing "gym candy," or steroids, from the trainer at his local gym. His performance starts breaking records and his father couldn't be more proud, but along with gains in muscle, he suffers "'roid rage," depression, and unsightly acne. When his secret finally comes out, he attempts suicide. Even after therapy, Mick is left wondering if he'll continue to be tempted by steroids. Deuker skillfully complements a sobering message with plenty of exciting on-field action and locker-room drama, while depicting Mick's emotional struggles with loneliness and insecurity as sensitively and realistically as his physical ones. Pair this solid addition to the sports fiction shelf with John Coy's Crackback (2005). -- Hubert, Jennifer (Reviewed 09-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 104, number 1, p)
  • Gr 7-10 Deuker tackles high school steroid use with his usual spot-on characterizations, exciting game-play descriptions, and an entirely credible depiction of one athlete's decision to use illegal substances to become bigger, faster, and stronger. Mick's earliest memories are of playing football with his dad, once a high school/college star running back and third-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers, but now a radio sidekick in Seattle. Learning the truth about his father's career--that he was a football bad boy who squandered his talent--motivates Mick to work harder than ever. He earns his place on the varsity as an incoming freshman but comes up short on the big play of the final game that season. Initially rejecting the offer of steroids from his personal trainer at the gym, Mick is eventually convinced to give it a shot, injecting XTR during the next season and becoming a touchdown-scoring machine. Deuker realistically portrays the paranoia, acne, and emotional roller-coaster that are side effects of steroid use and the constant pressure to win that drives some athletes to succumb to illegal drugs. The climax involving gun violence and the importance of friends who can back you up eerily parallels Robert Lipsyte's Raiders Night (HarperCollins, 2006), although minus that book's sexualized swagger; this one is pitched for a younger audience. The disturbing and powerful denouement will leave readers uncertain whether, even after having undergone residential substance-abuse counseling, Mick will be able to stay off the "juice." Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA --Joel Shoemaker (Reviewed October 1, 2007) (School Library Journal, vol 53, issue 10, p148)
  • Mick Johnson wants to be a star running back. He's good, but not good enough. The trouble is the red zone, the 20 yards in front of the end zone, and he's not quite powerful enough to crunch his way in against big defenders. He begins working harder, lifting weights and taking protein powders, but progress is slow. He starts going to Popeye's gym, where his trainer introduces him to steroids—gym candy—and then to "stacks," mixes of pills and injections. This cautionary tale, told in first person, is a methodical working out of the psychology of the high-school athlete willing to do anything to gain an edge. It's a moral tale, too, as Mick realizes what he has lost for his gains. After almost killing a friend and himself and going through rehab, he understands the almost-irresistible lure of the drugs that promise to make him more than he could be on his own. A superb sports novel with no easy resolutions and a good match with Robert Lipsyte's Raiders Night (2006). (Fiction. 12-15) (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
257605
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Deuker, Carl
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
710L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
Reading level
4.6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Football
  • Fathers and sons
  • High schools
  • Schools
  • Steroids
  • Family life
  • Washington (State)
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Gym candy, by Carl Deuker
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
650025
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
313 pages
Isbn
9780618777136
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2007012749
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780618777136
  • (OCoLC)124031726
Label
Gym candy, by Carl Deuker
Link
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
650025
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
313 pages
Isbn
9780618777136
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2007012749
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780618777136
  • (OCoLC)124031726

Library Locations

    • Manchaca Road BranchBorrow it
      5500 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX, 78745, US
      30.2166039 -97.79733689999999
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