Review: Stick by Michael Harmon

stick by michael harmon

“Stick” is the best wide receiver in the history of his high school—the football seems magnetically drawn to his hands, hence his nickname.

Preston is an outcast, and his pipsqueak stature and nerdy social status couldn’t be further from a star athlete’s.

Stick puts on his football uniform every week to make others—his teammates, his dad, everyone but himself—happy, but he’s fallen out of love with the sport and feels that he’s lost control of his future.

Preston puts on his homemade superhero costume every night to help others, too: to avenge his father’s murder, he’s determined to right the wrongs he sees in his neighborhood and regain control of the flawed world he sees around him.

A twist of fate brings this unlikely pair together in a friendship that is as odd as it is true. Each can see the other better than he can see himself, and in these unexpected reflections lies a chance for mutual redemption.

Description taken from Goodreads.


There were a few things about this book that had me on the fence about whether or not I would recommend it to middle schoolers. For readers who already like YA lit in middle school, I would most likely recommend this. For readers who gravitate more towards the traditional middle-grade lit, I would pass on this one until later. For sports readers, I would weigh on a case-to-case basis.

All in all, this is a fantastic read. I really enjoyed the mix of different elements of sports lit. There are some great sports scenes, but there’s also a set plot that doesn’t have to do with sports. There are some truly great, unique relationships and the main focus friendship is spot-on and fun to read about.

There is a lot of cussing in this book, so if a middle-grade reader isn’t into that or his or her parents isn’t into that, I would not recommend this book. Other than that, I really enjoyed this read. If you were a fan of the themes in CROSSOVER, I would recommend STICK. 3.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 240

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