Deuker, Carl. Gym Candy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. Print. ISBN: 9780618777136
“We both understand that the games that mattered were the games yet to be played – my games.” For as long as Mick can remember, he has been living in his dad’s shadow. That is until he learns the truth about his dad’s pro career, or lack thereof. Now Mick just does not want to make the same mistakes that his dad did. As he starts high school football, he knows he has the skills, quickness, and attitude to be the best, but he thinks he is missing the strength. When hitting the weight room does not lead to the results that he wants, Mick starts trying other avenues to reach his goal…. steroids.
Carl Deuker has written a novel that takes an in depth look at the use of steroids. Gym Candy does not sugar coat the effects that steroids can have on you, but instead puts them right out in the open. Mick seems like such a normal teenage guy. He has a great support system at home (although dad is pushy at times), a best friend who can get him the ball, and a ton of talent for the game of football. The problem comes around when Mick has to be the best no matter the cost. This story can be hard to read at times due to the nature of the subject. Anyone who has seen a friend, family member, or team member go through this will relate to what all the characters are going through. “Deuker skillfully complements a sobering message with plenty of exciting on-field action and locker-room drama, while depicting Mick’s emotional struggles with loneliness and insecurity as sensitively and realistically as his physical ones,” says Booklist. Emotions run high in this sports novel.
Steroid use has been heavily documented in the news and in research. Students could research what steroids are, the effects (both wanted and unwanted), and long term effects. Each student would then be given a personal story found by the teacher discussing how steroids effected this a specific person.
"Gym Candy." Booklist 104.1 (2007). Title Wave. Follett Library Resources, 1 Sept. 2007. Web. 24 Oct. 2010. http://titlewave.com/search?SID=4a2dfba13ce04a99c5590a402a637c18.