Chasing Normal

T.L. Hoch. iUniverse, $17.95 paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4697-5148-1
In this earnest tribute to good sportsmanship, two friends find success on the basketball court while also embracing their inner strengths. Annie Smith is a phenomenal athlete looking for a fresh start when she moves to Reston, Tex. There, calling herself B.A. Smith, she befriends fellow junior Melinda "Chip" Fullerton and joins the girls' basketball team. Although B.A. initially hides her talents, she eventually unleashes her true skills, championing good conduct, respect, and sportsmanship along the way. Rather than a stirring testimony to admirable behavior, the story is overly moralistic. Former high school teacher/coach Hoch is a stickler for details when it comes to the athletic bits, but the narration and dialogue have a tendency to over explain ("Well, there was this one guy, Luke. He was her best friend. They had a lot in common, since they both loved sports so much") Along with numerous unsubtle complaints about grandstanding professionals and bad language, the result is a story that, despite its best intentions and positive message, is out of touch with its intended audience. Ages 12–up.
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 02/01/2012
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-4697-5149-8
Open Ebook - 978-1-4697-5150-4
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