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.

Accidents happen every day.  So when a tragic accident happens in a high school football game, is anyone to be blamed? In the book Paralyzed by Jeff Rud, he takes on this difficult question.  Mr. Rud has been a sports writer, columnist, and sports editor for over twenty years.  This is an entertaining book for individuals interested in novels with sports backgrounds.  It gives you a remarkable look into obstacles that players may face.

In this outstanding novel, linebacker Reggie Scott tells the story of his difficult journey as a high school football player facing the problem of being accused of “playing dirty” when an opposing player gets injured. Reggie is conflicted about his ability to use contact anymore.  While this is a legitimate feeling, it’s saddening to know that a great player like Reggie would be discouraged from showing off their talent.  Despite how it might appear, Reggie is not actually to blame for the tragic injury of Nate Brown, the opposing player.  Even the coach comments that “Despite how it might appear, this is not your fault.”

The rising action takes place when everyone realizes this, except Nate’s mom.  Reggie faces the wrath of Nate’s mom who blames this accident on Reggie.  “The woman’s face changed in an instant.  Gone was the mournful, confused look.  In its place was a flash of anger.  Her face grew red, and her eyelids twitched…Don’t come back ever! I don’t want you here.  Nate doesn’t want you here.  I saw you dancing around after that play.  I saw you celebrating.  Don’t think I didn’t notice.”

Ultimately, Reggie’s problem is resolved in a most exciting manner when Nate’s mom doesn’t give up on the idea that Reggie is to blame and takes things a step farther than just accusations.

-Justin W., 7th grade

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