MacLeod, J.E. (2009). Waiting to Score. New Jersey: Westside Books.
Textbook Chapter: 6
Subgenre: Sports, Realistic Fiction
Possible Curriculum Connections: High School Class English Class, Suicide Prevention, Making safe choices
Waiting to Score is a young adult novel about Zachary Chase, a fifteen year old hockey star. Zach's father was a professional hockey player, but died before Zach was born because he was driving drunk and he wrecked his car. Now, Zach and his mother have moved back to their hometown after some time away, and Zach is trying to fit in to the new community and his new hockey team. He meets a girl named Jane at the hockey rink, and is immediately attracted to her, eventhough she is not his type. Come to find out, Jane is a very sweet girl, although she dresses gothic and wears dark makeup. Jane's twin brother is on the hockey team, and he has a severe drinking problem. Zach eventually wins Jane over, helps get her brother into rehab, and begins to fit in. However, Zach makes an enemy with Mac, the captain of the hockey team, who has a horrible attitude and actually takes advantage of girls who are drunk at parties. Zach tries to help a girl at a party when Mac takes advantage of her, but the girl commits suicide the next day at her home. The suicide rocks the town, everyone grows closer, and Mac's true colors are revealed. In the end, Zach is offered a hockey scholarship, and Mac is turned down because of his reputation.
Personal Reaction/ Why Teens Would Want to Read this Book:
Waiting to Score was a pretty good book! The novel was a good mix of sports, realistic fiction, and a little bit of romance. It basically has something that everyone would enjoy! The book also deals with some very difficult issues like rape, suicide, and alcoholism. Although teenage drinking and partying are not portrayed as being negative when done in moderation in the book, the author does make teens see that extreme behaviors can have extreme consequences. Teens may be able to relate to the peer pressure in the novel, and would find Zach to be a good role model. Overall, this was a good book, and I do think most teens would enjoy it!