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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Amanda and Lena have been soccer stars and best friends for years, but now, when Amanda makes the junior varsity team and Lena makes the varsity, Amanda finds herself increasingly shut out of her friend’s life. Suddenly, everything Amanda took for granted is changing--but she's about to discover that mightnot be bad. Brendan Halpin’s new novel is about friendship, family,...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Isabelle Miles
Shutout is about far more than soccer. It's about friendship, family, boys, and believing in yourself.

Amanda Conant and her best friend, Lena Zaleski are hoping to survive their first year of high school, on the their schools Varsity soccer team. But when Amanda gets placed on the JV, and Lena gets placed on the Varsity, Lena is instantly more popular, and she starts ditching Amanda to hang out with her popular 12th grade friends.
The Varsity team has been doing much better than the JV, and whe...more
Susan P
Amanda and her best friend Lena have grown up playing soccer together. As they approach their freshman year and the varsity soccer tryouts, they're both pretty sure that they'll be playing JV. But when Lena makes varsity and Amanda doesn't, everything changes. Lena starts spending more time with her new teammates, and doesn't have much time for Amanda any longer. And Lena wants to go to parties and flirt with cute guys and Amanda just isn't ready for that yet. I really liked this story of changi...more
I'm giving this book 5 stars, not because it changed my life, but because it's maybe the best thing of its kind that I've read. Lena has always been Amanda's best friend, and soccer is the glue of their friendship. But when Lena makes the varsity girls' soccer team and Amanda is left behind on JV, their friendship suffers.

Doesn't sound like much of a plot, but Halpin really breathes some new life into the friends-growing-apart genre of teen fiction. Amanda's voice is dead-on, the sports action i...more
I know a thing or two about this author...I've read his DONORBOY and LOSING MY FACULTIES. I know he's dealt with crippling loss, and one of the lines from DONORBOY is one I use to console others who are suffering: "It will never hurt less, but it will hurt less often."

Amanda lives in a blended, stepmom (her mother died when Amanda was a toddler), a step brother and a half brother. This blended family is strong and positive. Siblings squabble and squawk. But Amanda loves her family.....more
Morgan Klein
I recently read Shutout by Brenden Haplin. I chose this book because it was based off of being a freshman soccer player, to get on varsity or to just have fun. I am a freshman and playing soccer this spring so I was excited to read this. In this book a freshman girl named Amanda and her best friend Lena are going to be playing their first high school soccer season. The girls have been friends since they were little, and have always played on the same team. Both of them are pretty confident they...more
Aug 11, 2011 Hailee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: girls who play sports(no matter what sport)
Recommended to Hailee by: me
this is about a girl whoes best friend makes the varsity soccer team as a freshman and she doesnt. This book tests friends and family i recomed it!!!!!!!!
I want to read more by this author!
I loved it!!!
Sep 07, 2011 Ali added it
I love this book!!!
Best friends Amanda and Lena have always been an unstoppable pair on the soccer field. Although ninth graders rarely make the varsity team, they are hopeful. A recent growth spurt of several inches has caused Amanda to develop Sever’s disease, a temporary disorder that causes significant heel pain as the tendons try to keep up with bone growth. As she puts it, instead of charging up the wing, she’s now hobbling toward the goal. But it’s still an unexpected blow when she hears that Lena has made...more
Amanda and Lena have are best friends and have been playing soccer together the whole time. The two are are entering high school and both want nothing more than to make varsity together. As many things in high school, this doesn't work out. Lena makes varsity and Amanda is stuck on JV. As their freshman year begins, Lena is more popular and getting caught up in life with popular, upper classman. Amanda feels left behind and jealous. The two have a huge and fight and for the first time in 6 years...more
Hillary Mantone
I really liked this book! It was so relatable because I also play soccer, and this is what the book is all about! I liked the detail, and the whole story concept! Also the story is about a young girl who doesn't make the Varsity team, but her best friend does! I feel that this is relatable because I tried out for the junior varsity team, but in my case I made the team!

I really liked the characters in this book! They were detailed, but they could have been a little more vivid. My favorite charact...more
Lachelle Opp
This book was soooo good! I kept on reading and reading and couldn't stop. This book was about this girl named Amanda who plays soccer with her friend Lena. One day they went to soccer practice to see if some girls got moved up to varsity or stayed a junior varsity. And coach Beezer read the names and said Lena, but didn't say Amanda. Amanda was mad at the coaches because Lena gets to be on the varsity but Amanda doesn't. Later on Lena started hanging out with the seniors from the varsity team....more
Britney Senger
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's the summer before Amanda and her best friend Lena are about to start at the high school. They are really looking forward to it, particularly since they both think they have a sure thing to make it onto the varsity girl's soccer team. While it is rare for underclassmen to get selected for the varsity team, Amanda and Lena really are just that good.

Unfortunately, things don't go quite as planned when Lena does make the varsity team, and Amanda finds herself playing on the JV squad. To some de...more
Allie Z.
The book shut out is the book i just finished and it was full of drama.
It really did a good job of stepping into the life of a teenage girl, because you could definantly see and feel the changes the girls went through from perie pressure to boy drama. I could really relate to this book because it was about to high school girls that play SOCCER!
But then tragedy strikes when Amanda the main character is separted from her friend Alena, who is put on the varsity team while she is forced to stay on t...more
Mrs. Schatz
You and your best friend begin high school with visions of doing great things together and then the impossible happens. She makes varsity and you're on JV. She gets the cute boyfriend, the invites to the parties, and the attention. She still needs you to cover for her but then you lie to your parents. "I just felt like my whole life had fallen apart. Everything I thought I was--good at soccer, Lena's best friend, a daughter who made her parents proud instead of crazy--all that was gone. I didn't...more
Sophie Larson
Book Title: Shutout
Lexile: 930
I liked this book because it wasn't COMPLETELY about soccer like I thought it would be. Some of it was about friendship between Amanda and Lena. Also, some of it was about relationships like between Lena and this popular boy at school.
One of my favorite parts of the book was when Lena and Amanda went and snuck out of their houses to go to a party. It kept me on the edge of my chair while I was reading this because a lot of it was about making right or wrong decisi...more
It is almost 4 AM, so I will be brief, but hopefully helpful. Read this book in one sitting. It was a quick read with a lot of heart. I loved the characters- realistic but original. It touched on a lot of issues, but didn't beat them down with a stick.

While I've never been a huge fan of sports books, I felt very connected to the players and I couldn't help but feel on edge while reading about each game. Bonus: There was some pretty fantastic trash talking!

I would definitely recommend this book...more
Lynda Schmidt
Trying to find more sports centered books for the athletes want to be readers in my class. This one was more for the grade 7 and up - but a predictable story all around - and not very interesting for me as a reader.
Jun 17, 2012 Virag rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle-grade girls who love soccer
I'd honestly never have looked twice at this book, except for that I was at a friend's house last night, and while she was in the shower I needed something to do. Sadly, she didn't have a huge selection of books. Most of the ones she owned were ones I'd already read and given her, haha.
So twenty minutes after she came out of the shower, I was nearly halfway done with this book, and decided to finish the rest next morning.

Shutout is fine. In fact, a younger girl might really like it. It's a nice,...more
Mega Gaffney
I really liked this book. It was relatable because I also play soccer. I liked the whole story concept. Also the story is about a young girl who doesn't make the Varsity team, but her best friend does. I liked the characters in this book. My favorite character is Amanda, because she is very strong when she finds out that she didn't make the team, and she is still nice to her best friend Lana who did make the team. She is a very good friend in my mind. She wouldn't give up on Lana even though she...more
This was a great book for teenage girls. There is some language in it, but overall it's a pretty clean book about being a good friend, a good sport and making good decisions in your life.
Sandy D.
Another YA book from one of my favorite YA authors - and it's a testament to his skill that I actually read a sports oriented book, even a teen one.

This is the story of two friends (both girls, and I'm guessing sports-oriented female characters must be in somewhat short supply in teen books) who are crazy about soccer and starting high school. One makes the varsity team, one doesn't. It sounds boring but Halpin's voice and characters are so entertaining it is wonderful. Even for someone who is t...more
The book Shutout was recommended to me one my friends. Amanda and Lena have been best friends for as long as they can remember and they are also both soccer stars. But once high school stars, Lena makes the varsity soccer team and Amanda makes junior varsity. This slowly starts to tear up their friendship. The authors writing style was very easy to understand it the way it was written, helped you connect to the book better. I would recommend this book to mostly girls because it involves a girly...more
Even though I'm not the target audience for this YA book, as the mom of a 14-year-old who just finished her freshman JV soccer season, I could definitely connect! She had read and enjoyed it first, so I picked it up when she finished. I was pleasantly surprised by Halpin's realistic portrayal of life as a young female athlete...there is no melodrama here, because the typical teen's everyday experiences are dramatic enough. My daughter was surprised that I liked this book too, but (shock!) I was...more
Maggie Fouberg
This book was really good, Brendan Halpin used real life scenarios and details making the story interesting. Halpin used great detail to describe the characters and the issues they are facing. The words, details, and scenarios he used helped you to really connect with the characters throughout the story. He showed the characters moods and emotions through great vocab and humor. I would suggest this book to anyone interested in soccer and a good book. I thought Halpin wrote a great story for Jr....more
Mar 03, 2013 Wendolyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young adults, soccer players
Recommended to Wendolyn by: Abby
I didn't want this book to end.

I smiled when I read the text reference to "Between the Lions". My daughters and I enjoyed this PBS show when they were little. I also appreciated the reference to "A Separate Peace" and it's theme.

What didn't make sense is page 177. If the opposing team didn't want to risk losing the ball, why did they kick it out of bounds?

p. 183 "It seems like every single day, stuff is happening that can never un-happen, stuff that changes your life before you've even realized...more
Nico Jung
I thought this book was really good because it talks about a lot about soccer. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. Amanda was my favorite character because she tried to keep her best friend but best friend left her for an older group of girls. I liked this book because it shows you the freinds you have know are not always going to be the friends you have later in life. The book shows alot of character. I recommend this book to girls who like soccer because thats all it really talks abou...more
I like this book to far. Though the story seems more about the main characters dramas then soccer. Though it is captivating. So far, the main character has gone through a lot of drama. First, she did not make varsity soccer with her best friend Lena, and then do to some circumstances, she loses her best friends and much much more happens.
I have finished it now. It was good. It was mostly about her dramas and less about soccer but it had a twisted ending which was cool.
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I grew up in Cincinnati, went to college in Philadelphia, and also lived in Taipei and Edinburgh along the way. I've lived in Boston since 1991.

I became a professional writer in 2000, writing about my late wife Kirsten's breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Kirsten died in 2003, leaving me and our daughter Rowen. I married Suzanne in 2005 and got her kids Casey and Kylie in the deal too. Bargain...more
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“if you wait for everyone else to do the right thing before you do the right thing, then you'll never do what's right. You have to do what's right even if other people aren't. Maybe even especially if other people aren't.” 10 likes
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