Lessons of the Game

Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Author
Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Author Arte Publico Press $9.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-55885-245-7
Prebound-Sewn - 149 pages - 978-0-606-17324-7
Prebound-Glued - 149 pages - 978-0-613-58982-6
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-55885-652-3
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Reminiscent of 1950s career-girl romances, Bertrand's (Sweet Fifteen) pat and squeaky-clean novel shares the trials and tribulations of Kaylene Morales, student teacher. Entering the halls of Leon Creek High School dressed in a sensible blue suit, Kaylene is not prepared for the fight between two freshman girls that greets her in the hallway. Nor does she plan to fall in love with the first seasoned teacher who crosses her path--""brawny and powerful"" Coach Alex Garrison, who helps her break up the brawl. There are more surprises in store for the protagonist than for readers, who will never doubt for a moment that the dedicated teacher will find a way to reach her students and win her man despite his busy coaching schedule (""She felt a deep competition with a hard-hearted wench she called football""). Kaylene's dilemmas--balancing friendliness with professionalism and finishing her unit on connectives in time for the final exam--are interspersed with her daydreams of becoming a coach's wife (""Was this the future she wanted? Gathering with others to complain while your husband watched films of games his team lost?""). Riddled with cliche phrases and stock characters, this story will only score points with die-hard fans of a genre that peaked in the days when Elvis was king. Ages 11-up. (Dec.)
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