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Gym Candy

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  4,992 Ratings  ·  839 Reviews
Award-winning author Carl Deuker explores fair play versus the determination to win and the issues surrounding one teen's decision to cross the line. "Look, Mick," he said, "you're going to find out from somebody in the gym, so you might as well find out from me. Those supplements you're taking? They might get you a little bigger, but just a little. If you're after serious ...more
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published September 22nd 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (first published September 3rd 2007)
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Carl At some gyms, steroids are called "Gym Candy." This was actually brought to my attention by a reader while I was in the process of writing the book.…moreAt some gyms, steroids are called "Gym Candy." This was actually brought to my attention by a reader while I was in the process of writing the book. It immediately became the title.(less)
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Dec 04, 2008 Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sports lovers ( preferably Football lovers)
Recommended to Anderson by: No one i found it one day just looking around
Nick Anderson

Mrs. Baltz

Pre-AP English 10

5 December 2008

Gym Candy by Carl Deuker

All his life Mick Johnson has lived and breathed football. He has dreams of one day being like his dad and being the superstar. His dad has been workin with him since he was four, taking him to all the best camps, teaching him the best moves, and teaching him the most important thing; there is no crying in football.

Mick starts his career playing pop warner football when he is little. He goes through his early life
Oct 16, 2016 Sophia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-this-year
Finally! I finished this book. Finally!

I have so much to say about this book. At first, I thought the plot was interesting. I wanted to see how a football player goes through their up's and down's. How he wants to go to the extremes for his love for football. But as the book progressed, the story bored me. The plot was really slow when coming to the climax. And there was not much hype throughout the book. Not only that, there was a lot of football talk. And if you know me, I don't have a clue a
May 02, 2013 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2013 Debby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book intrigued me and I anticipated being drawn in to a high-interest and provocative plot (high school athlete takes steroids to remain competitive). That plot point was there, but was not well developed. The bulk of the book is detailed play-by-play recounting of the athlete's football practices (!) and games. Even a sports fan like me cannot maintain a high level of interest in the minutiae of practices. So much more could have been done with developing the relationship between father an ...more
Matthew (:
Nov 07, 2014 Matthew (: rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do I think? I think this book is just flat amazing, Yes it isn't the most challenging thing to read but, just the message that it gives, just makes it amazing. Anybody can read a book with out any meaning, but to me when you read a book with a meaning to it, it makes it ten times better. I can relate to the main character of this book, I love football with a passion. I use to think that one person made a football team, but then I realized wow I was wrong. I thought that If I left the team, ...more
Oct 26, 2015 Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Gym Candy and the main character in the book is all about football, he loves it. It was inherited by his dad who played pro football. Mick is the main character and he has to face lots of challenges with new coaching, finding more information on his dad, and being pressured to take steroids.
I loved the start of the book because right away the story was on. It talked about the first time he scored a touchdown with his dad. I loved how when he took steroids it went to a personal standpoin
Cameron Casey
Dec 11, 2015 Cameron Casey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gym Candy by Carl Dueker is a Realistic fiction novel about a high schooler named Mick who has a problem with steroid use. Mick has been the star of the football team from when he was a pee-wee. But he wanted to keep on getting better. His freshman year he was on the varsity team. He only played a little but, he did see the field unlike some of his teammates. But he wasn’t satisfied with just a little playing time, so he started going to a gym called popeyes, there he worked out super hard with ...more
Apr 20, 2009 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2016 BrodyJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a kid named Mick Johnson who was born into a family of good athletes. His Dad Mike Johnson was a star player in college and moved onto the pros but he got injured in the preseason and got cut. Mick's dad held him back a year so he would be bigger and stronger than all the kids in his grade. Mick always felt bad about because it's like cheating. He had been running back for all the years that he played until he got to highschool, when a kid that was much bigger than him took th ...more
Jun 03, 2016 Logan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-2016
Gym Candy was the best book I’ve ever read. The book I just finished reading is called Gym Candy, by Carl Deuker. It was a very good book in my opinion. Gym Candy is about this high school kid that is trying to get a starting spot on the high school football team called Shilshole High. His name is Mick Johnson, his dad was a high school and college football star and he made it to the NFL but did not play a single game because he was getting trouble off the field so he ended up getting kicked out ...more
So Gym Candy is a powerful story, but I have to rant about something first...

The women in this story were so WEAK and FLAT?! What's up with that? I get that Gym Candy isn't a story about women, but geeze lou, if you're going to include women in your story, Carl Deuker, why are they all so powerless and clueless? Mick's mom needs to grow a backbone, and take care of her child beyond making dinner and ignoring all of the RED FLAGS just to keep the peace with her jerky, misogynistic husband. Kayle
Tyler Limp
Oct 24, 2014 Tyler Limp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading the book Gym Candy. In part I liked it because I enjoy reading all types of sports novels. I liked the story line of the book. How it took us from Mick's 8th grade year to his sophomore year. I like how Mick's father was a former NFL player who was too lazy and he pushed Mick to not be that way and I really enjoyed the way the book ended, with Mick getting caught taking enhancement drugs.

What I did not like about the book was when they went over the same scenarios over
May 05, 2014 Logan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book Gym Candy by Carl Dueker. In the book the main character, Mick Johnson, wants to become a NFL football star. From the age of five he loves playing the game with his dad, who played for the San Diego Chargers. Mick grows up surrounded by football, and by his eighth grade year he’s ready to play varsity football at his high school. Mick earns a spot as the second string running back behind an upperclassman. When Mick gets an opportunity to win the game his freshman year he is stop ...more
Kelly, fornarelli-8
Kelly Fornarelli
Book Review of Gym Candy

In Gym Candy, Mick Johnson is caught following in his fathers footsteps on his journey to NFL stardom. The pressure held over Mick to live up to his father's expectations is almost too much to handle. Mick gets caught up in steroids, also known as “Gym Candy”, when he befriends his towns local gym trainer. After topping the charts, breaking numerous records, and leading his high school to victory people start to notice the sudden spike in M
Ethan Klem
Oct 24, 2014 Ethan Klem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about a kid named Mick. All his life he has lived and dreamed football. He was going into high school, and thought after the first day of training that he was small. He started going to the gym to get bigger and stronger. Mick never hung out with his friends because of the gym, and began losing friends. After a while he was not getting the results he wanted, and started taking steroids. When he started taking steroids bad things began to happen.In the end he made the worst decisio ...more
May 03, 2014 Gus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Gym candy is a book full of dramatic events in a high school football players career. Mick Johnson, the son of an ex NFL player is playing football as a freshman. When he played as a young kid he was unstoppable but when he is stopped at the goal line in the championship game with no time left he realizes he needs to do something to up his game. Mick seeks the help of a trainer named Pete at his gym who gives him the advice of using steroids which is outlawed in high school sports and can resul
Benjamin Van
Oct 24, 2014 Benjamin Van rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was extremely good. I would recommend anyone at any age to this book. Mick Johnson tries to follow his fathers footsteps of being in the NFL. In Mick's middle school career he is just OK. The only problem is he wants to be the best at everything. As he enters high school he decides to take steroids. Yes, he becomes the best at football but he takes the wrong route. Mick experiences dramatic changes and depression.
The author, Carl Deuker is trying to tell you the affects of
Oct 12, 2016 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book “Gym Candy,” it talks about a high school kid named Mick Johnson who made the football varsity team. In hopes of being a football star like his father, Mick works hard in order to become first line of the team. Eventually he makes it; however, it makes his life even harder. He ends up getting bullied by 2 people that got their first line spots taken away by Mick and his friend Drew. This leads to Mick using steroids in order to become stronger as well as being able to keep first lin ...more
Hunter M
Oct 22, 2014 Hunter M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gym Candy is a popular sports book that shows what kind of people the main characters are. Mick was born to be a football star. His dad was a football star and has trained Mick his entire life to succeed in the game of football. Mick is a very hard worker, but he gets into the mix with steroids and he becomes very big and powerful, and one of the best running backs in the state. He is a very nice, young man until he got involved with steroids. Mick and his best friends, Drew and Deshawn, are fre ...more
Levi Erdmann
Oct 14, 2016 Levi Erdmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My personal response to this book is that it was amazing! I really liked this book because I could put myself in his shoes somewhat. The author really made me feel a connection with this book and I felt he did a very good job describing almost every detail. He told the story in a way that you felt you were there right alongside Mick.

The plot of this story is simple. Mick was an 8th grader who got asked to play some spring football with the high school team. His friends Drew and Deshawn were also
Michael McCarty
May 18, 2016 Michael McCarty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was about a boy whose dad was a superstar in his high school and college years in football. He always wanted to be that good to. However he was stopped short of scoring a touchdown in the last game of the season. Then to become the best he then started taking steroids. As he started taking them he started to lose relationships and the steroids started to take over his entire life.
Feb 12, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read on a topic I feel is overlooked in high schools today. The ending (epilogue)through me a curve I didn't expect. It makes you think.

Used this as a read-aloud for a class that didn't think they would like it because it involves football. What they didn't realize at first was that it contained so much more. They begged to read it when we had extra time.
Collin Jorgensen
Personal Response: I read the book "Gym Candy" by Carl Deuker. I enjoyed this book because it talked about sports and it talked about the good and bad affects of steriods. Overall, I liked this book and enjoyed reading it.
Plot: This kid named Mick was a star at football. His dad went to college and was an amazing player, but didnt make it in the pros. He told Mick this, and Mick then devoted his life to football. All he worked on was football, football, football. So Mick, almost got the startin
Bryce C
Oct 05, 2016 Bryce C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gym candy is a great book. This book starts with Mick Johnson (the main character) as a 4 year old playing football in the back yard with his Dad. He was trying to get pass his dad and score. After a few try's Mick got passed his dad and his dada was so happy. In Pop warner the league before middle school. Mick was going to be a running back, but there was a new player(Drew and a new coach. Drew was beating Mick in everything. The coach takes to him and asked if tat was all you got. Then Mick sa ...more
Apr 27, 2016 BRANDON SCHEER rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the start of this book, Mick Johnson is a star running back for his 8th grade team. Although his team is not that great he leads them to a winning season. As they near the end of the season, he realizes that the varsity head coach is scouting him for a possible spot on the varsity roster. He has four other running backs that he needs to pass to be the starter. He knows for sure that he can beat the first two. He does that within a few weeks of summer practice. He passes the third one a we
Jan 11, 2016 Ean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response:
What really got me going to read this book in it is about sports and one of my favorite sports in football. I really felt like I was in the same situations like this kid Mich was like how he wanted to increase all of he skills plus his weight in the weight room so he could get a better varsity spot on the team and I did all the same and I made varsity this year as a freshman which is pretty cool just like it was for Mich. This character is try to follow in his Father's foot st
Mar 05, 2015 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mick Johnson will do whatever it takes to get the starting position on his football team and to help them win a championship. He will even take what athletes know as "gym candy" which is steroids. I thought that this book was really good because it shows how Mick is so determined to help himself and his team. I also liked how Drew was such a good friend to Mick and he would help him in any way, including turning Mick in for using steroids to help him get his mind right. This was a really good bo ...more
Apr 24, 2015 BookLover26 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gym Candy by Carl Dueker was a very good book. I really liked it for a few reasons. For one, it was a story of a Seattle athlete which is obviously relatable for me personally. And it was just a great story that dealt with struggle to feel important and feel like you are important. I would recommend this book to anyone but specifically any teens that are athletes because that is who the main character is and that's who Carl Dueker seems to certainly be trying to speak to as his audience. On page ...more
Feb 02, 2015 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Gym Candy, the main character Mick Johnson has a passion and love for football. It is partially due to the fact that his dad forced it on him because he was a star in college but Mick does not know what happened to him in the NFL. As a young kid Mick was held back so he was always a year older than kids he played against and went to school with. He was the star running back until he got to high school when he faced Drager the junior starting running back on varsity. He makes it his goal to st ...more
Tim Snell
Oct 22, 2009 Tim Snell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Copyright: 2007

Mick Johnson eats, drinks, sleeps, breathes, football. Trying to follow in the footsteps of his father, Mick shows an incredible knowledge of the game at a very young age, however, as Mick enters high school, he thinks that in order to gain that competitive edge, his only resort is taking steroids. Mick's performance on the field improves, so much that he feels the need to continue taking steroids, but his life off the field begins to suffer and only he can
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“Games are lost and won in your mind as much as they are on the field.” 15 likes
“I heard Coach Downs never started freshman," he told us. "Well that's not how it is with me. I play the best players, period. If you're a junior with three letters on your jacket, and you shave twice a day, and some smooth-faced freshman whips your ass in practice, then your collecting splinters while he's playing. Understood?
Coach Carlson”
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