Northern Lights: One Woman, Two Teams, and The Football Field That Changed Their Lives.
Cathy Parker. Thomas Nelson, $17.99 (224) ISBN 978-0-7852-2380-1
In her enthralling debut, Parker— founder of Athletes to Champions, a nonprofit dedicated to helping all children participate in sports—chronicles her journey of faith and football. After watching a documentary about a team in Barrow, Alaska, in the arctic circle, who played on a gravel field and were often injured while doing so, Parker, the wife of a former professional football player and mom to four student athletes, spearheaded a fundraising campaign to bring high school football players from Barrow to train in her hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. Even though the thick layer of permafrost on the ground in Barrow and the town’s location made it seem impossible to install any type of field, Parker began a campaign to create a modern, synthetic field for the players back home. She details the many logistical obstacles needed to transport turf into far north Alaska, and reveals how the experience humbled her and deepened her Christian faith. She also includes truly touching moments of connection, such as her story of the Alaskan player who stayed with her family during the team’s trip, and went from being shy and untrusting to open and kind. Both football fans and Christian readers will appreciate and cheer Parker’s tenacious efforts. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2019