Mascot ranges from hilarious to melancholy and back again. There is a wildly absurd prank, dealing with non-traditional families, and handling grief when the person you love and look up to dies, and is not only responsible for his death, but also your disability. Friendship and a lot of baseball are the strong threads that run through this middle grade novel. Oh, and don’t forget the overly gassy dog!— Tildy
This witty, heartfelt story about perseverance in the face of adversity is perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio, Cammie McGovern, and John David Anderson. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
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.
About the Author
Antony John was born in England and raised on a balanced diet of fish and chips and bizarre British comedies. To annoy his parents, he studied classical music at university. Now he writes books instead of music so he can wear sweatpants all day. He lives in St. Louis with his family, who think he’s weird for not liking chocolate. They might be right. Visit him online at www.antonyjohn.net.
“The strength and beauty of this novel lie in the ways in which a community gathers around Noah. You’ll bawl at the ending, because it is so very real.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Wonderful. Poignant. Beautifully written. Perfect voice. Do not miss this book. Mascot is a masterpiece.”
— Roland Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Peak, Zach’s Lie, and Cryptid Hunters
“Mascot is the kind of book that makes me want to dress up in a costume and loudly tell the world about it.”
— Obert Skye, bestselling author of the Leven Thumps series
“Noah’s dilemma is universal: the struggle to rebuild identity when what once defined us no longer exists. Highlights the challenges of adapting to puberty and sudden disability at the same time.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“This action-packed, humorous story contains well-developed, dynamic characters who are thoughtful and relatable.”
— School Library Journal
“It is heartening to see young characters who don’t hesitate at their differences or care what other people think. As Noah comes to terms with his life-changing accident in this refreshingly fastpaced novel, readers will have an easy time cheering him on as he moves toward recovery.”
“The comedy balances accessibly with Noah’s grief, and readers will appreciate his return to the field.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“John blends humor and heartache in this powerful, satisfying coming-of-age story that handles Noah’s experience of paraplegia with honesty and sensitivity.”
— Publishers Weekly