What makes an average American high school suddenly become violent?
As Joe Brickman heads into the fall of his senior year, he's looking forward to the soccer season, when he will captain the Lawndale team. And surely this will be the year when he and his neighbor Kristine stop teasing each other and begin dating. But scary, unpredictable things start happening at Lawndale High. It's hard to tell what touches off the storm. Is it the arrival of Antonio Silva, a.k.a. the Phenom, a Brazilian soccer star who transforms the Lawndale Braves into a contender, and in doing so clashes with football players? Is it the shake-up of the social order in the school, when the Phenom starts dating Kris, and soccer becomes the "in" sport? Is it the brutal humiliation of Joe's best friend, Ed "the Mouse" McBean, and is Ed planning on taking some dark revenge on the entire school? Perhaps it's all of these new twists, and something older. As violence and danger escalate and school officials clamp down with zero tolerance, Joe finds himself searching for the courage to break free from the forces that threaten to take him down with the home of the Braves.
In his powerful and timely new novel, David Klass dramatizes the many ways in which past violence returns to haunt the present.