Brock is a good, strong name usually associated with a strong character. Not so in this sports novel however. Our Brock is a good kid but as the title suggests he is somewhat of a shrinking violet when it comes to high pressure situations..
Brock is a normal high school kid in Seattle. He plays a bit of soccer and overall does what he's supposed to do. One day he meets Jimmy Fang, a stereotypical Asian kid who is whip smart. Fang is a Renaissance man however and he just happens to be good in soccer too. He and Brock bond as teammates and become friends. Deuker skilfully manipulates situations that Brock finds himself. I for one don't know how I would have reacted if I were in his shoes at that age.
Football is a quintessential American sport and its players are known for being brave. Fans admire them and that can sometimes create a god mentality. Although it is somewhat of a stereotype, the football star in this novel is also a bigot and he encourages his hangers on to bully and jeer Jimmy for little reason other than due to the fact that he's Asian, a bit weird and very smart. Jimmy however is not the stereotypical Asian in one way however-his temper. He stands up for himself despite Brock's desire that he not do so because of the social order of the school.
This is a very necessary book for the times that we live in. Bullying is very real and often the bullied do not fight back and prefer to suffer in silence. There is a an unspoken code about snitching that permeates our culture. This book shows the consequences for both bully and bullied and for me is a good starting point for the dialogue that must occur in order for change to occur.