Teen Athletes Face Decisions About Sex, Drugs and Alcohol in YA Novels From WestSide Books

February 17, 2009

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ — While we encourage teens to play sports to help them develop social skills and foster positive relationships, not all new friends are good role models or positive influences. Drugs, sex, alcohol, and bullying are commonly faced by teen athletes as they cope with the pressures of competition. This spring, WestSide Books introduces Mark Fink’sStepping Up and J.E. MacLeod’sWaiting to Score, two books for young adults that show what happens to teen athletes before, during, and after the final whistle is blown.

In Stepping Up, it isn’t easy being average Ernie Dolan. At fourteen, it’s a challenge surviving basketball camp without drawing attention to his stutter and his marginal athletic skills that flounder under pressure, especially once he’s nicknamed “choke.” In the sights of camp bully and star player, Rick, Ernie’s dismayed that his best friend, Mike, hangs with Rick instead of defending Ernie. Add alcohol to the picture, and life at Camp NothinButNet nearly turns deadly.

In J.E. MacLeod’s Waiting to Score, Zack Chase, new in town, gets a crash course in the dangerous, fast-paced lives of local teen athletes. A good-looking, book-loving hockey star, Zack’s also expected to be a womanizing, alcohol-abusing party animal, but it’s not who he is. As jealous, obnoxious team captain Mac hounds him, Zack falls for Goth-girl Jane and befriends her teammate brother, both with their own secrets. Tragedy strikes and affects them all in this true-to-life debut novel, giving readers an insight into the lives of high school students and athletes.

Debut novelist Mark Fink wrote and produced for television, working for every major network. He wrote for teen comedy series including Full House and Saved By the Bell, and created the NBC Saturday morning basketball themed series, Hang Time. Calling basketball a “life-time love,” Fink lives in the Los Angeles area.

J.E. MacLeod (Waiting to Score) lives in the Canadian Rockies and grew up with a hockey-coach father and two hockey-playing brothers who taught her well about the game. Waiting to Score is her first novel.

WestSide Books, www.westside-books.com, is dedicated to publishing edgy, contemporary, realistic fiction for teenagers. It launches a debut list of seven young adult novels in Spring 2009.

SOURCE WestSide Books

Source: newswire

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