Games by Carol Gorman

Mick Sullivan and Boot Quinn have been enemies since the day they first met. They have had countless fist fights and have already been suspended once in the first month of their eighth grade year.

Mick Sullivan is big for his age which make people think he likes to fight way more than he does. Actually, Mick likes to read more than anything else. He considers the library his second home. Mick’s father is constantly trying to get him to be tougher and get him involved in sports, but Mick just doesn’t enjoy them. Boot doesn’t have many friends. He likes to play the guitar and wants to someday be in a band. His biggest goal for the day is to give Mick a hard time by teasing him about his father who has a drinking problem. Both boys have difficult home lives that they really keep hidden from everyone else. They also like Tabitha Slater, the most popular girl in the eighth grade.

Things start to change when a new principal comes to the school. After their latest fight, instead of suspending them again, he assigns the boys to come to the office to play games for an hour every day. This extra time together, without adult supervision, leads to some heated exchanges and ultimately some extremely devastating consequences for both Mick and Boot. While cooperation and civility don’t happen in the traditional sense, they do start to learn about each other.

Carol Gorman, the author of the Dork in Disguise series, takes us on the emotional rollercoaster of middle school where what your friends think is what drives the majority of your decisions and with most people there is more than meets the eye.