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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Reichfield High is comprised of mostly white students and over the past years it has lost almost all the games played against North Prep, a school frequented by mostly Brazilians, Filipinos, and Mexican students. To turn the tide, Addie and his white supremacist friends hatch a plan to stop the lead player from the opposite team from playing, so they are sure to win the game. But North Prep has something in store for them, a surprise no one saw coming: Shaylee, one of their best players ... a girl. Can Addie and his misogynistic friends accept defeat when it comes? Addie’s last desperate attempt to prove that Shaylee is a fraud leads to surprising outcomes that readers will want to discover.
An intriguing blend of racial conflict, wry humor, and a winding plot make for an enjoyable read in Blitzball by Barton Ludwig, a narrative with a strong appeal for fans of soccer and coming of age. The author plunges readers into the typical high school world and creates a conflict that involves race and white supremacist tendencies, a theme that is as relevant to our age and time as it is real. This is a novel that is both entertaining and educational, a story that powerfully demonstrates how success works with merit and not the shade of one’s skin. Barton Ludwig offers a scathing indictment of racial discrimination and creates a despicable character in Addie. Addie is mean, and the author uses his sarcastic, demeaning voice to create the grim humor, sarcasm, and irony that punctuate this narrative. Blitzball features great writing, compelling characters, and a plot that soccer fans will enjoy. It read to me like a sports movie.