Book Review: Paralyzed, by Jeff Rud

paralyzed_coverThis book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

I don’t know if you have ever played sports before, but I know that horrible feeling when you see somebody laying down on the ground injured. Whether it be on the court, on the diamond, or out on the field everybody holds their breath and hopes that the injured player is okay. Jeff Rud, author of Paralyzed, is a writer of many different sports books.

In the book Paralyzed, Nate Brown, tight end for Milbury High School poorly tackles star middle linebacker Reggie Scott from Lincoln High School when Reggie intercepts the ball. In football, tackling a player leading with your head is very chancy, and he learned the consequence. Nate Brown laid frozen on the field. It is later released
that Nate Brown is paralyzed. As time goes by, Reggie feels guilty about Nate’s injury and that really affects the way he plays football, and the way he is around his family.

Overcoming guilt is one of the great themes and also the conflict in the book. Nate Brown’s mother is an evil character in the book. Reggie tries to visit Nate when Nate’s mom sees him and stammers, “How do you think he’s doing?” The woman was shrieking now. “This is the Intensive Care Unit. How the hell do you think he’s
doing?” (22-23). That then makes Reggie feel very guilty. I really do like Reggie’s perseverance because he keeps trying and trying to go see Nate. That is also a great theme in this book.

One of my favorite characters in this book is Dr. MacIntyre. He is a sport physiologist that Reggie goes to see to help him focus with football. He is a very amenable and casual person and makes the reader feel like you want to be his friend. Dr. McIntyre says some things that make Reggie realize whether he should be visiting Dr. McIntyre or not. “‘Well, I don’t know if I actually need to be here or not,’ [Reggie] said, hedging a little. ‘But my coaches think I do, and my parents think I do, so I guess I do.’ ‘Well, Reggie,’ Dr. MacIntyre said. ‘This is only going to work if you want help. If you’re here just to satisfy somebody else, you might as well not waste your time or mine'” (69). This really helps Reggie focus and decide on his goals.

Does Reggie finally get to visit Nate? Will Nate be okay? Will Nate’s mother still be mad at Reggie for what happened? To answers these questions, you should read the book. I highly recommend.

Logan P., 7th grade

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