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Book cover of Rooster


by Don Trembath

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781551432618

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Overview of Rooster

Rooster Cobb is in trouble--with his school, with his mother, with his girlfriend. He smokes too much and he hates his stepfather. In fact, he might not graduate from high school. But he just doesn't seem to care. That is until the guidance counselor and the principal come up with a plan to get Rooster through grade twelve, out of their lives forever and possibly on the right track with his life. The last thing Rooster wants to do is coach The Strikers, a bowling team of special-needs adults, especially when he finds out he's going to be mentored by the most unpopular girl in school, the principal's daughter, Elma. When he starts to take coaching seriously, his friends make fun of him, and his girlfriend accuses him of taking the easy way out. But when one of The Strikers dies unexpectedly, Rooster discovers there are as many ways to be a hero as there are ways to mess up.

Reviews of Rooster

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2006 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list

CM Magazine

"An easy and delightful read, especially for older boys who are not regular readers. Recommended."

Resource Links

"Trembath has achieved the difficult challenge of writing a book about emotions with considerable potential appeal for boys."


Our first impression of Rooster Cobb, nicknamed for exuberantly waking up his parents in the mornings when he was a child, is provided by his high school English teacher, recently turned guidance counselor. She describes Rooster as a gifted writer with no manners or respect for adults or the system. He is in danger of not graduating, and as a last-ditch effort to get school credit through a service project, he is given an "assignment" to work with a four-member bowling team from Chamber House, a group home for mentally challenged adults. They need coaching to get ready for an upcoming Special Olympics. Rooster is surprised that the team wants to interview him; he simply plans to make a bad impression. To his surprise, he is chosen. He is not committed to this weekly task until one of the team members dies of a heart attack. At this point, this team of unique individuals becomes a teaching tool for this lost young man. Lacking self-confidence and still grieving for his father, Rooster learns to reach out and to trust his own gifts. Though the characters are scantily developed and the story drags a bit in the middle, this is a worthy story about discovering self-confidence. (Underage drinking and language.) KLIATT Codes: JS¬óRecommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Orca, 208p., Ages 12 to 18.
¬óAnnette Wells

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Since the death of his father seven years ago, 17-year-old Rooster has developed an anti-authority attitude. The only subject he enjoys is writing. He is given one last chance to earn a diploma when his principal appoints him to mentor the "Strikers," a bowling team made up of four special-needs adults. Their caregiver would like them to qualify for the Special Olympics, but they lack the discipline to succeed. Not only is Rooster hesitant to lead the group, but he is also paired up with the principal's bossy, straight-A daughter, Elma, who challenges everything he does. He gradually earns the group's trust, so the sudden death of a teammate affects him more than he expected. When the bowlers achieve their goal, his job is over. Then he is given an assignment to write about the Strikers, tries his hand at it, and finds satisfaction. This project and revelations about his father's love of reading help Rooster find peace within himself. Now, instead of burying his memories, he has found a way to connect with and honor them. Rooster is a believable young man who is barely going through the motions of life. With spot-on dialogue and riotous arguments among the Strikers, this is a smart story peppered with mature situations.-Karen Hoth, Marathon Middle/High School, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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