Sally Kruger's Reviews > Cracking the Bell

Cracking the Bell by Geoff Herbach
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After Isaiah's sister Hannah was killed by a drunk driver, Isaiah fell apart. He had worshipped his older sister, and her loss ruined his parents' marriage and sent him barreling in the wrong direction. His delinquent behavior ended in his father offering him a choice - join the football team or return to the juvenile detention facility that hadn't worked for him the first time. Isaiah chose football, and his life turned around.

Now a senior and about to turn eighteen, Isaiah is a star player, star student, and seemingly a star son. In the game against Lancaster, Isaiah messed up. Headed for a tackle, he put his eyes down and slammed into his opponent. He was out cold. He came to and jumped to his feet before his teammates suspected the severity of his injury. Despite the fact that he heard what he described as "witch whistles" and a constant deadly shriek, he went through the motions at the end of the game and headed home.

By the next morning it was clear Isaiah was hurt. A trip to the emergency room with his parents revealed the diagnosis as a severe concussion. It also became evident that this was not his first concussion. NO MORE FOOTBALL! At least that's what his mother declared.

Since Isaiah believed that football had brought him back to life after losing his sister, the idea of not playing sent him over the edge. How could he survive without the game? Would the promise of a scholarship from Cornell University disappear? What was the point of hard work, good grades, and good behavior if what he lived for was gone?

CRACKING THE BELL explores the dangers of sports injuries, specifically concussions. The threat of second impact syndrome is real, and players, parents, and coaches around the country should be concerned. Thankfully, fictional Isaiah had a strong support system of family and friends, and the strength of his determination to see him through a physical and emotional struggle.

Anyone who plays football or cares about someone who plays football should read CRACKING THE BELL. Author Geoff Herbach's smooth flowing style makes reading ten pages feel like barely reading two. He makes Isaiah and his story leap off the page and demand to be read.

Thank you to the author for generously sharing this ARC. Release date - Sept. 2019.
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Reading Progress

August 22, 2019 – Started Reading
August 22, 2019 – Shelved
August 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

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