ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published August 6, 2013. Frances Foster Books (Farrar Straus Giroux). 279 pp.
Carla is the top sports reporter for the school’s newspaper, and recruits Jerry to write blog entries related to football. Jerry is the school’s star quarterback, and finds a natural affinity for writing. Between the two of them, they’re supposed to cover football in their New Jersey football town where everyone eats, sleeps and dreams of football and winning the State championship.
When Jerry gets sidelined with a small concussion, Carla starts wondering about the ramifications of brain injuries in football players. Her curiosity is increased when another star player suffers an even worse concussion. Suddenly, it seems that she’s questioning the values of the town when her interest in concussions spills over into their ultimate love affair with football. Neither Jerry nor the town will stand for it, but Carla won’t back down. She believes she has a right to tell the truth, and will have her say. However, is “her say” important enough to risk the final championship game?
Readers will learn a lot about concussions, brain injuries and football in “Second Impact.” I wasn’t too thrilled with the Klass style of using blog posts and emails to tell Carla and Jerry’s story, but perhaps it will resound with the 12 and older crowd.