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Slot Machine (Elvin #1)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  24 reviews
They call it Twenty-One Nights with the Knights. But for Elvin Bishop--fourteen, overweight, and a self-proclaimed non-athlete--the summer "retreat" is more like the twenty-one trials of hell. As everyone around him slips smoothly into a slot in his chosen sport, Elvin is pounded on the football field, slammed on the baseball diamond, and tortured on the wrestling mat. An ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 16th 1996 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 242)
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Betsy
We read this for school. "Incredibly boring" is how I described it.
Raphael
Dec 06, 2012 Raphael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like to read stories about breaking free from conformity and a teen's coming of age.
Chris Lynch gives his humorous yet compelling approach on an adolescent’s ordeals and coming of age in this comic novel that takes place in a summer retreat for incoming high school students called “Twenty-One Nights with the Knights”.

Elvin Bishop, a 14-year old, overweight, “funny guy”, that has a thing or two to say to those surrounding him, is required to do “relationship-building” sports with others. From the beginning, readers can already sense Elvin’s disinterest in doing sports. His two
...more
Briynne
The YA Lit train rolls on with "Slot Machine". This book was neither fantastic nor in any way very bad. The only reason I didn't rate it higher was that it didn't really impact me that much, and I had a slightly hard time relating to a lot of the characters (I like sports, and loved them as a teenager - I was, apparently, a slotter).

Elvin: great name, so-so character. I enjoyed his journey from football (murder), to baseball (adventures in catching, that made my knees hurt in sympathetic memory
...more
Nic
Yeah, those dates are right. I read this one and What I Saw and How I Lied cover-to-cover in one day. And while this one didn't make me cry, I don't recommend the back-to-back readings, unless you are or would like to be insane.

Still, I liked this book. The humor was really well-done, so that I winced for Elvin without finding him whiny or his story depressing.

I appreciated the realism, too. One of my favorite parts was when Elvin first launched himself into wrestling, was startled to realize th
...more
6forbes_jon
The title of the book i just finished was Slot Machine by Chris Lynch. this was a book about the main character mikey. Mikey was a lonely kid and did not have many good friends at all.In the story mikey was sent tho a wrestling camp to get better at wrestling so he could improve his moves when he wrestles for his school.The one who sent him to the camp was his coach davey. As we get through the story mikey gets better and better at wrestling and then his coach gets more proud of him and so are h ...more
Austin Fuqua
It's about this kid named Elvin who was fat and depressed couldn't find a sport to play because nothing he does is good enough but a good friend sticks with him and by the end they no what good friendship is and that you don't need sports to make you popular or better
Diana
Sep 25, 2007 Diana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Elvin Bishop is in the summer before high school. He is going with his two friends to the “21 Nights with the Knights,” which is ostensibly a summer camp, but in reality is a four-week recruitment for the athletic programs in his new high school. As the camp progresses, Elvin discovers he doesn’t fit into an easy “slot” and struggles to find out where he belongs.

Interesting. Definitely geared toward boys. This can be frustrating to read, but Elvin is a great underdog.
Jorge Rivera
Sep 20, 2007 Jorge Rivera is currently reading it
Recommends it for: People that like football
This is book is interesting so far. It is about a boy that believes that you dont need alot of friends, that you really only need two. He is not that very popular. He only hangs out with his two friends. He is on the football team but he really isn't that great, but no matter how bad he is he still has his two friends that has his back and cheer him up whenever he is feeling down.
Tweller83
Boys are "slotted" into different sports in the summer before their freshman year in a Catholic high school. Poor Elvin is a little fat and doesn't really fit in in any of the slots. He ends up in the Arts sector at the end just watching people. It is a good book but for the more mature reader. Many things about the boys private parts, sex and some hazing scenes.
elissa
I'm surprised that I've never rated this one before. I read it within a year or so of it coming out, and definitely liked it and booktalked it at the time. I think it's my favorite Lynch book (of the 3 or so that I've read). I came across this searching for his new book, which I don't see on goodreads for some reason.
Linda
OVERWEIGHT 13 YR OLD IS SENT TO CAMP WHERE HE AND HIS TWO BEST FRIENDS ARE FORCED TO TRY VARIOUS SPORTS IN ORDER TO FIND OUT WHERE THEY BELONG.

GOOD PORTRAYAL OF TEEN BOYS AT CAMP. LYNCH IS GOOD AT DEPICTING INSENSITIVITY OF ATHLETES TOWARD THOSE NOT INCLINED TOWARDS SPORTS. HUMOROUS
Jeff
I had to read this for my english class. It was definetly one of the most unappealing books i've evr forced myself to read. Elvin was easlily relate able, and his sarcasm was amusing, but overall i did not like the book. It was so... cliche. Fat kid goes to camp. boo hoo.
Dean Fleer
This was a very good book. It showed that anybody can do want they want to do by hard work. It shows how big it is to go from Junior High to Freshmen. It tells you about going from a boy to a man. The book is a great help in stepping up and giving you self confidence.
Allyson
Would never have chosen this for myself but read for YA class. Not as bad as I was afraid it would be, still uses some bad language, references to bestiality, masturbation, teen drinking, etc. I wouldn't recommend it to young kids, but that's just me.
Laura Leonard
If you like sarcastic and irreverent narrators this is a great choice. Elvin is not an athletic guy, nor is he a joiner, but he is forced to try and find his "slot" when he goes off to camp with his two best friends.
Monica
This is a funny, sad, and scary coming of age book. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters. The narrator has a strong and sympathetic voice, which made the story easy and fun to read.
Kelli
Solid book. Middle schoolers will like it. It deals with struggles with friends, finding your own way, not being an athlete, dealing with fitting in. Heck, I liked it. :)
Mohamed Albadani
Feb 15, 2013 Mohamed Albadani is currently reading it
first thing like this book because its talk about when you jest have only 2 friends and its talk about a lot of things . i read from page 5 77. i love this book
Kyla
Would be great for reluctant boy teen readers (that oh so discussed group) and the relief when Elvin finds his slot is pretty tremendous
Annie Matthys
I thought I would hate this book but found the main character to be absolutey hilarious! A great read, to be sure.
Declan
Really stupid. Following a boy getting put into different sports at a camp.
Mia
Another decent read for my YA lit class.
Jillian
Mar 26, 2008 Jillian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA readers-especially boys.
Recommended to Jillian by: YA professor in library grad program
Shelves: ya-books
A favorite YA read. Very funny.
Emily
Emily marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
Alice Rose
Alice Rose marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
Colleen Ferguson
Colleen Ferguson marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2015
Elizabeth
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
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Chris Lynch is the Printz Honor Award-winning author of several highly acclaimed young adult novels, including KILL SWITCH, ANGRY YOUNG MAN, and INEXCUSABLE, which was a National Book Award finalist and the recipient of six starred reviews. He is also the author of FREEWILL, GOLD DUST, ICEMAN, GYPSY DAVY, and SHADOWBOXER, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults; EXTREME ELVIN WHITECHURCH, and ALL THE ...more
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