Body Slammed! by Ray Villareal

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Sixteen-year-old Jesse Baron feels like he’s living his life on the sidelines. He’s on the varsity football team, but only because it’s what his dad wants him to do. And the girl he used to go out with is dating the popular quarterback. Jesse is fed up with being cut down and dismissed, whether by the coach or his friends. If only he was bigger, tougher and more athletic, like his dad.

Those things didn’t matter to Jesse’s mom. She left his father, a professional wrestler, because of his demanding career. But it’s through his dad that Jesse meets TJ Masters, a brash, new wrestling talent who’s over 21, drives a fast car and is more than willing to show Jesse a good time. And unlike his dad, TJ makes Jesse feel tough and confident; he even offers to help Jesse bulk up. But will Jesse listen to his family and friends when they warn him about hanging out with someone who’s often reckless and irresponsible?

In this stand-alone sequel to his acclaimed debut novel My Father, the Angel of Death, Ray Villareal touches on serious themes such as drinking and driving, lying to loved ones and even steroid use. Author and educator Villareal once again writes a compelling novel for teens that explores the impact of making poor choices and choosing the right friends.

“A San Antonio teenager hooks up with a fast-living pro wrestler and discovers the downside of hanging out with risky companions in this sequel to My Father, the Angel of Death.” — KIRKUS Reviews

“This stand-alone sequel to Villareal’s earlier novel, MY FATHER, THE ANGEL OF DEATH (2006), tells a taut and believable story about a young man’s coming-of-age and the choices he must make. The material about professional wrestling will be of special interest to boy readers.” — BOOKLIST

About Ray Villareal

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Ray Villareal is the author of My Father, the Angel of Death (Pinata Books, 2006) and Alamo Wars (Pinata Books, 2008). He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Bilingual Education and a Master of Liberal Arts. He lives in Dallas, Texas, where he teaches in the Dallas Independent School District.
Published April 30, 2012 by Arte Público Press. 200 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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His life takes an exciting turn, though, after his father introduces him to 22-year-old TJ, a cocky up-and-coming wrestler.

Mar 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Body Slammed!

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