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Mascot

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Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he’s helpless now. He’s sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn’t making any progress. He’s tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball—but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah. Noah is scared h Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he’s helpless now. He’s sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn’t making any progress. He’s tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball—but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah. Noah is scared he’ll never feel like his old self again. He doesn’t want people to think of him as different for the rest of his life. With the help of family and friends, he’ll have to throw off the mask he’s been hiding behind and face the fears that have kept him on the sidelines if he ever wants to move forward.


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Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he’s helpless now. He’s sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn’t making any progress. He’s tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball—but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah. Noah is scared h Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he’s helpless now. He’s sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn’t making any progress. He’s tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball—but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah. Noah is scared he’ll never feel like his old self again. He doesn’t want people to think of him as different for the rest of his life. With the help of family and friends, he’ll have to throw off the mask he’s been hiding behind and face the fears that have kept him on the sidelines if he ever wants to move forward.

30 review for Mascot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Noah Savino lives in the St. Louis neighborhood of the Hill, which is great, because he loves baseball. Well, he used to. After a devastating car accident, he is in a wheel chair and trying to figure out a new normal. This doesn't include Logan, his former best friend and teammate, who has been a jerk. When quirky new student Ruben moves to the area, calling himself "Double-Wide" because of his size, Noah is glad to have one person who doesn't know all of the details of E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Noah Savino lives in the St. Louis neighborhood of the Hill, which is great, because he loves baseball. Well, he used to. After a devastating car accident, he is in a wheel chair and trying to figure out a new normal. This doesn't include Logan, his former best friend and teammate, who has been a jerk. When quirky new student Ruben moves to the area, calling himself "Double-Wide" because of his size, Noah is glad to have one person who doesn't know all of the details of his accident. It helps that Ruben is also very matter-of-fact (and has some slight autism spectrum characteristics) and just ASKS Noah about issues that have to do with his wheelchair bound state if he doesn't understand them. When another former friend, Alyssa, runs afoul of Logan and gets roped into competing against him in an upcoming pitching contest, Rben and Noah offer to help her. So does neighbor Mr. Riggieri, after they break his car windshield. Noah is not happy that his mother is starting to date Mr. Dillon, a neighbor who has a younger daughter Makayla. Mr. Dillon being friendly and helpful, and his mother being happy... just doesn't sit well with him, since he is still processing his father's death. His physical rehab isn't going very well because he's not working as hard as he should, a fact which his gym teacher, Mrs. Friendly, is able to point out to him. Along with learning how to catch from his wheelchair for the pitching contest, Noah has a plan to make Mr. Dillon look less appealing to his mother, and for Mr. Riggieri to reconcile with his children. Life goes on, and while Noah is generally moving forward with his life, there are some moments where he has to process his recent loss in order to keep making progress. Strengths: If you want readers to gain empathy about people who are facing challenges they are not, it's not very effective to have a slow paced, lyrical novel that discusses and analyzes these matters. A lot of the readers are going to claim the book is boring and give up! If you throw in dog farts, practical jokes, some friend fighting, and a sport, readers will actually pay attention to the book and get information about what it would be like to be in a wheelchair, how you might feel if your father passed away, how to be friends with someone who is quirky, how to deal with a parent dating, and how fathers sometimes fall out with their children over issues like same sex marriage. That's all in this book, but in a way that is fun to read. I also adored the details about life in this very specific neighborhood. Noah's personality and coping mechanisms were brilliantly described. He doesn't wring his hands, but does admit he doesn't work hard enough. The reasons his friends quit talking to him are very realistic. The fact that sometimes happy things can make a grieving person inexplicably sad is a very true thing that I have not seen represented in middle grade literature. Very well done, Mr. John! Weaknesses: I got to the end of this and I could remember mascots being mentioned several times, but completely missed which one the titular mascot would be. Also, I'm not sure that there are many tween girls comfortable enough in their own skin to ask a boy if he's "looking at her boobs". (Since Noah is in a wheelchair, that's his eye level.) It's the only detail that seemed unlikely. What I really think: Can't wait to hand to students! Great cover-- wish we would see more like this, especially if girls are the main character. It's one thing to say boys should read books with girl protagonists-- it's another to get a 13 year old boy to check out an aggressively pink book with a girl on the cover. Librarians need a tiny bit of help in overthrowing cultural preconditioning.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Fun, heartwarming story about friendship, second chances, and perseverance. Noah narrates this story that starts after the accident that kills his father and puts him in a wheelchair. He is back at school and just wants things to go back to "normal." He just wants to forget what happened and have everyone teat him like before. But, Noah finds that that isn't possible. Life needs to change to go forward. He meets Dee-Dub, a new student, and together with Alyssa, Noah slowly removes his "mask" and Fun, heartwarming story about friendship, second chances, and perseverance. Noah narrates this story that starts after the accident that kills his father and puts him in a wheelchair. He is back at school and just wants things to go back to "normal." He just wants to forget what happened and have everyone teat him like before. But, Noah finds that that isn't possible. Life needs to change to go forward. He meets Dee-Dub, a new student, and together with Alyssa, Noah slowly removes his "mask" and they navigate middle school and life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Schneider Family Book Award-winner Antony John does not disappoint with his second book about a disabled teen and his first middle grade book. Noah, a middle school student who must use a wheelchair thanks to the accident that killed his father, is as realistic as seventh graders come. Devious, irritable, moody and somewhat self loathing, he's the kind of guy any twelve year old can identify with. But he's also a good friend, a smart kid, and a powerful catcher, even after the accident. Join Noa Schneider Family Book Award-winner Antony John does not disappoint with his second book about a disabled teen and his first middle grade book. Noah, a middle school student who must use a wheelchair thanks to the accident that killed his father, is as realistic as seventh graders come. Devious, irritable, moody and somewhat self loathing, he's the kind of guy any twelve year old can identify with. But he's also a good friend, a smart kid, and a powerful catcher, even after the accident. Join Noah and his buddies Alyssa and Double Wide as they plot to bring down their enemy: Fredbird, the beloved mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals. This book is especially good for Missourians and redbird fans.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Valerie McEnroe

    Sometimes books soar like a plane in the opening chapter, then slowly lose altitude and crash. Not this book. This book is like a symphony, opening with a few instruments. The next thing you know the entire orchestra is involved and your mind is blown by the beauty of it all. The story opens with Noah and new kid Double-Wide. Noah is cynical, sarcastic, bitter. He used to be a rockstar catcher on his little league team. Now he's in a wheel chair, after a car accident left him paralyzed and his d Sometimes books soar like a plane in the opening chapter, then slowly lose altitude and crash. Not this book. This book is like a symphony, opening with a few instruments. The next thing you know the entire orchestra is involved and your mind is blown by the beauty of it all. The story opens with Noah and new kid Double-Wide. Noah is cynical, sarcastic, bitter. He used to be a rockstar catcher on his little league team. Now he's in a wheel chair, after a car accident left him paralyzed and his dad dead. Double-Wide is huge, smart as heck, and somewhere on the autism spectrum. He and Noah bond over their outcast status. Then a few other characters enter this symphony of writing mastery. There's Alyssa, a pitching phenom who wants to prove her ability and get the recognition she deserves. And, of course, there's the antagonist, Logan. He's the kid you hope will get his due for the way he treats the kid with the disability. He's the pitcher. Noah was the catcher. They never liked each other, but they did what they had to to win. The there's the character who sits on the sidelines waiting for the chance to shine. Ms. Friendly, the PE teacher, is the character who turns this story into a symphony. She's starts out with a few important notes then, boom, she's the soloist. “’I want your son to be involved. Do you want your son to be involved? Or do you want him to sit on the sidelines and watch?’ Noah can't stand her. In his mind she's the teacher who takes satisfaction in tormenting kids. In fact, she's the villain who turns out to be the superhero. Noah HAS become a mascot on the sidelines, without his dad to cheer him on. This quote changes Noah and the trajectory of the book. It's the moment the music begins to build. Ms. Friendly explaining to Noah why she does CrossFit competitions: “There will come a time when my body says Enough. Little by little, I’ll slow down. My muscles will weaken. I won’t be able to do the things I used to do. That’s why I work out like crazy, Noah. So that I can put off that day. And when it finally comes, I’ll be so fit, I’ll still be better off than most of the people around me. I’ll also know that I’ve pushed myself to the limit—seen what this old body of mine can do. You understand what I’m saying?” There are about five amazing themes in this book. We've heard them a hundred times. You can do anything if you try hard enough. Be true to yourself by being true to those around you. Life is short, so don't waste it. But let's face it. We ignore all these truths. There's nothing like a good story to put it all in perspective, and I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. So much happens. Every character has an important role. Every scene adds to the big picture. A true symphony. Mr. Riggieri: You’re got a lot of life still to live. Noah: The long, slow climb gives me time to think. About fathers and sons, and wasted opportunities. About the things we can’t change and the things we can. Dynamo: My mom says we’re all running our own races anyway. The main thing is you’ve got to compete. Can’t win anything without competing. I could quote this entire book. In case you want to know if there's a crescendo, there is.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Ensconced in Lit)

    I've been following Antony John's career for a while, and while I've enjoyed all of his books, my favorite of all time was Five Flavors of Dumb. He just captured those characters so beautifully and I laughed and cried along with them and felt like we were friends by the end. Mascot is the first time I've had that same feeling since Dumb, and it was honestly like coming home. There are different characters and storylines but the feeling is the same. Noah Savino has been in a car accident that end I've been following Antony John's career for a while, and while I've enjoyed all of his books, my favorite of all time was Five Flavors of Dumb. He just captured those characters so beautifully and I laughed and cried along with them and felt like we were friends by the end. Mascot is the first time I've had that same feeling since Dumb, and it was honestly like coming home. There are different characters and storylines but the feeling is the same. Noah Savino has been in a car accident that ended in tragedy for multiple reasons, and he is mad at the world understandably. He doesn't want to try and he gets mad at the people who love him because they are trying to make him care again. This book is about friendship but also making your way back from a huge challenge. I loved the side characters (John's side characters are the best), Double-Wide, who is likely on the spectrum with his very concrete way of thinking and difficulty making friends and dealing with his emotions, and the terrific Alyssa, who is the Hermione of the trio. And we can never forget one of the younger characters who I won't say too much but she is a firecracker with her own character arc. Overall, a wonderful middle grade read that doesn't dumb itself down for its readers, and makes you want to stand up and cheer! A must read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Increasingly there has been a push in children's literature for strong female characters and books that celebrate girl power. Even though strong female characters have always been the dominating force in children's literature (Jo March, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Shirley, to name a few) more and more authors and publishers are promoting feminism. Problem is, boys are often overlooked. Yes, Harry Potter made a lasting impact but, for the most part, single realistic novels center around girls. For Increasingly there has been a push in children's literature for strong female characters and books that celebrate girl power. Even though strong female characters have always been the dominating force in children's literature (Jo March, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Shirley, to name a few) more and more authors and publishers are promoting feminism. Problem is, boys are often overlooked. Yes, Harry Potter made a lasting impact but, for the most part, single realistic novels center around girls. Fortunately, Mascot fills at least some of this void. British born Antony John has written a delightful book with one terrific male protagonist at its helm. Noah Savino was partly paralyzed in a car accident that left him without a father. Grieving, sarcastic, yet determined this highly likable kid narrates the story of his transition from bitter and frustrated to navigating his way through life in a wheelchair. With his mother and a couple of very good friends, Noah comes to realize life not only does go on but it can be pretty darn good, even if you've been sidelined.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    What happens AFTER the accident when the first reactions are done and everyone else has moved on with the normal lives? Noah, once star catcher, is now the kid in the wheelchair on the sidelines. His teammates side with the bully who taunts him, his mom struggles to get him in and out of the car and the endless physical therapy just seems pointless. His steadfast best friend Alyssa is still by his side but Noah even wonders if it is because she feels sorry for him. A new kid in his class, Dee Dub What happens AFTER the accident when the first reactions are done and everyone else has moved on with the normal lives? Noah, once star catcher, is now the kid in the wheelchair on the sidelines. His teammates side with the bully who taunts him, his mom struggles to get him in and out of the car and the endless physical therapy just seems pointless. His steadfast best friend Alyssa is still by his side but Noah even wonders if it is because she feels sorry for him. A new kid in his class, Dee Dub (Double Wide) who has his own issues, a baseball duel and Noah's mom's new friend who claims to be the mascot of the Cardinals team are the catalyst that finally gets Noah off the sidelines. I loved this one with its unusual look at the uneven trajectory of recovery and the picture of three great kids who help each other. Lots of great baseball stuff here too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Kahn

    I adored this book! If I hadn't sworn off of giving the stars, I'd give it ten! Review soon; but don't miss this extraordinary book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tory

    Oh my god, you guys. I haven't found a book yet that delves into cell phone use while driving, and this one does it SO POWERFULLY HOLY CRAP. It's terrifying and deadly and oh-so-common in this day and age, and Mascot addresses it in the most horrifying and realistic way possible. Give this book to every dang kid so they'll yell at their parents to GET OFF THEIR FREAKING PHONES.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I shouldn't be surprised by how much I liked this - I am always a sucker for a good book about an average middle grade kid going through some less than average life experiences - but I really am glad I gave this one my full attention. These are good kids with good hearts - even the so called bully is redeemed in a way that's not cloying or unbelievable. And at the center you have Noah, who is trying to make the best of a shitty turn of events that left him in a wheelchair and his father dead. No I shouldn't be surprised by how much I liked this - I am always a sucker for a good book about an average middle grade kid going through some less than average life experiences - but I really am glad I gave this one my full attention. These are good kids with good hearts - even the so called bully is redeemed in a way that's not cloying or unbelievable. And at the center you have Noah, who is trying to make the best of a shitty turn of events that left him in a wheelchair and his father dead. Noah is sarcastic and real and his friendship with Dee-Dub and Alyssa is the stuff that great middle grade stories are made of. Some things are left hanging and the ending is a little too rah rah but I really dig this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Mascot by Antony John, 336 pages. HarperCollins, September 2018. $17. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH It’s been a year since the car accident that killed Noah’s father and landed Noah in a wheelchair as a paraplegic. From an active life as a baseball catcher, he has been sidelined and is still struggling with grief of so many kinds. Logan, who used to be his baseball partner is sarcastic and seems uncaring of Noah’s struggles. Al Mascot by Antony John, 336 pages. HarperCollins, September 2018. $17. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - ESSENTIAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH It’s been a year since the car accident that killed Noah’s father and landed Noah in a wheelchair as a paraplegic. From an active life as a baseball catcher, he has been sidelined and is still struggling with grief of so many kinds. Logan, who used to be his baseball partner is sarcastic and seems uncaring of Noah’s struggles. Alyssa, a childhood friend, sticks by his side. And then arrives Rueben aka Double-Wide; big, smart (and probably autistic), who is ready to stand by Noah in his well-meaning, but socially awkward way. Noah has not been participating in his physical therapy, and if he continues to not progress the insurance company will stop paying for it and he really will be chair bound forever. But life has other plans for Noah. Alyssa gets sick of Logan and challenges him to a pitchoff, with far-reaching consequences. There is so much I want to tell you about this book! And I’ve already told you way too much. A reclusive retiree, two attitudy 4thgraders, a possible love interest for Noah’s mom, and even Mrs. Friendly, the cross-fit star PE teacher who Noah finds anything but friendly. I loved each page as this story unfolded. This is a book that could be read as a class and entertain and teach in equal measures. Cindy, Middle School Librarian https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Anyone who has listened to me talk about books in any capacity knows that I absolutely adore middle reader books. There are a lot of reasons why, and this book helped me realize yet another one! This book helped me put into words why I appreciate young protagonists so much - and it's because their drama is not petty. They're incredibly honest, and if there's any confusion about the way people feel about each other and about situations, it's usually because the character themselves don't know or Anyone who has listened to me talk about books in any capacity knows that I absolutely adore middle reader books. There are a lot of reasons why, and this book helped me realize yet another one! This book helped me put into words why I appreciate young protagonists so much - and it's because their drama is not petty. They're incredibly honest, and if there's any confusion about the way people feel about each other and about situations, it's usually because the character themselves don't know or they honestly don't know how to express it. Adults have the communication skills, the vocabulary, and, most of the time, the experience to think through the situation and puzzle it out, but we still don't express the feelings. We watch as it complicates things, all the while knowing how to fix it. I'm not judging - I do this to myself all of the time - but it's nice to get a little refresher course about what we can do from people that we wouldn't expect or maybe wouldn't normally listen to. I'm sure I'll refine this chunk of text later, but it's good to put pen on paper, or, more accurately, fingers to keys, with this sort of thing. Anyway, I recommend this book - it's a nice little story, and it's always good to have an uplifting but realistic account of characters with disabilities. I would hang out with Noah and Dee-Dub, even now at age 23. Happy Reading! ~Katie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Casey Jo

    DNF. 150 pages in. The "clever irony" of a kid who was a baseball player, then in a car accident, now in a wheelchair is a thought experiment that acts as if actual disabled people don't exist. And he doesn't seem to know how disabled bodies work - he's serving as catcher for someone practicing their pitching, as if that isn't terribly physically demanding. And the fat kid who eats a lot of lasagne and likes to be called Double Wide? Stereotype much? Oh, and while we've heard jokes about boobs be DNF. 150 pages in. The "clever irony" of a kid who was a baseball player, then in a car accident, now in a wheelchair is a thought experiment that acts as if actual disabled people don't exist. And he doesn't seem to know how disabled bodies work - he's serving as catcher for someone practicing their pitching, as if that isn't terribly physically demanding. And the fat kid who eats a lot of lasagne and likes to be called Double Wide? Stereotype much? Oh, and while we've heard jokes about boobs being at eye level now, and a million body comparisons, we haven't heard one thought about how this kid feels about his dead dad. As for research, the author talks about spending half a day with a physical therapist. Not kids who use wheelchairs. Just someone who works with them. This book is a loser.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Holland

    Really, really liked. If kids loved Wonder...hardships and and awkward Middle School, this is so good!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Good book. Sad but really interesting. The end is really exciting. But In a wheelchair can be hard.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I loved this book! The characters were authentic and likable. The premise for the story was interesting and I found it entertaining. Check it out!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    My students enjoyed it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    "Mascot" is a hometown adventure story filled with new beginnings. When Noah returns to school after the accident that left him paralyzed and killed his father, his old Little League teammates are anything but kind. Luckily, Noah befriends new kid and fellow outcast Dee-Dub, and, with childhood pal Alyssa in tow, shenanigans unfold. Meanwhile, Noah’s mother needs someone to talk to, but when a familiar face shows up, will he strike out with Noah? Secret plans, after-school rivalries, and awkward "Mascot" is a hometown adventure story filled with new beginnings. When Noah returns to school after the accident that left him paralyzed and killed his father, his old Little League teammates are anything but kind. Luckily, Noah befriends new kid and fellow outcast Dee-Dub, and, with childhood pal Alyssa in tow, shenanigans unfold. Meanwhile, Noah’s mother needs someone to talk to, but when a familiar face shows up, will he strike out with Noah? Secret plans, after-school rivalries, and awkward moments abound, with a bit of romance, too. A fun and heartwarming read for all.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Spilman

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cara

  21. 5 out of 5

    Edward Gardner

  22. 4 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Brian Cover Story: Baseball Town Drinking Buddy: Get 'cher Cold Ones! Testosterone Level: First Base Talky Talk: Play Ball! Bonus Factors: Weird Kid, St. Louis Baseball Bromance Status: Teammates Read the full book report here.

  23. 5 out of 5

    LaRae

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sally

  26. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Winfrey

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tildy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trish

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ireadkidsbooks

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