1. Why did you choose this book?
I chose this book because I had watched the movie which is based on the true story of the 1988 Permian Panthers with my parents, and I saw the book at the Synergy book fair. I really like books about sports teams that are non-fiction.
2. Explain the plot of the book, or if it is a non-fiction book, what topics are covered.
The plot of this book follows the aforementioned Texas State High School Championship run of the Permian Panthers from Odessa Texas. The book also focuses on the racial divide in a largely white town which for years had been divided by the train tracks, Blacks “below” the train tracks and whites “above”. The novel gives a perspective from every possible angle: Snotty and slightly racist popular girls who thought White Guys “were too white”, Black Guys “were too black” but “Hispanic guys were in the middle so they were fair game, dysfunctional families, racist old football fanatics who thought black people were only good for their sports skills, and the players themselves. Brian Chavez, the Tight End, and the only Hispanic player/Valedictorian, and the only player with plans after High School (he went to Harvard, but doesn’t play football there.) The primary character “Boobie” Miles, the star Fullback, injured in a pre-season scrimmage. Chris Comer, Boobie’s replacement, and the new star Fullback, his father died of Arthritis that left him crippled after an oil rig accident. He is a very quiet and self-conscious person. He won’t even let his girlfriend into his Grandmother’s house where he lives because he thinks it is too messy.
3. Describe one of the characters in the book. Would you want to meet this character? Why or why not?
I would really like to meet “Boobie” Miles. He seems like a very interesting person to talk to and a very active person who is devoted to his game, that is why I would want to meet him. Although Miles gets hurt, and doesn’t play until late in the season, he expected to come back and play his regular level of game. By then, Chris Comer had established himself as a really great Fullback. Boobie gets angry and jealous of his replacement, after a while he gets over it. Mr. Miles is still alive so it is possible for me to meet him if I ever were to go to Texas.
4. What is your opinion of the book? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?
This is an amazing work of art through the lens of literature. This book tells the story of a very racist town (that used to be the murder capital of the U.S. in the 1800’s.) Growing to love but not exactly respect its people of color through sports. It is skillfully worded and shows a great amount of detail in a relatively short book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone over the age of 11.
5. Explain how this book is similar to another book, film, story, or article that you have read or seen. What connections or comparisons can you make?
Friday Night Lights was also made into a movie and TV show. Although I have only seen the movie, I hear that the TV show is excellent. The movie captures the storyline of the book and the real world story. In the movie the partying and the drinking was exaggerated to the point of the movie “Heathers” (another movie about high school drama, although that is a very exaggerated version of high school.) The story of one of the wide receivers is extended so you can see the extent of his abusive relationship with his father.
6. What do you think the main idea or theme of this story is? What is the author trying to tell
The story doesn’t really have a moral. It conveys the facts of a racially insensitive town that is football crazy! If the story had to have a moral, in the case of Boobie Miles it would be: “don’t judge a book by its cover.” (more…)