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Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.
How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?
First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.
And then there’s Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she’s first on the list.
Living with a secret isn’t easy, though, and Ben’s resolve begins to crumble…especially when he realizes that he isn’t the only person in Trout with secrets.
There’s bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don’t have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway.
A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant) to find their places in a school that has no place for them, the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to carve out their own turf. T. J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket—unattainable for most, exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T. J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High—will be an effective carving tool. He’s right. He’s also wrong.
Still, it’s always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets—piloted by Icko, the permanent resident of All, Night Fitness—soon becomes the cocoon inside which they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit,…[more]