Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Sourcebooks Fire –December 1, 2011
Yes, I know that most people won’t understand why I chose to read Catching Jordan for a multicultural read. It’s a young adult title about a high school girl who plays football. Football and high school are very distinct cultures, something that is accepted as an American pastime but has its own lingo and its own way of life. Same thing with high school, it’s a whole different world out there. But then I started reading it, and Catching Jordan says a lot about the American culture that I was note expecting. It touches on a few subjects that most people have accepted as a part of society. And it is a part of society-but not every society. So that’s why I chose it for Multicultural month.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect initially, I read a lot of buzz about catching Jordan on book blogs and everyone pretty much liked it. Sometimes YA books are simple reads with depth for the character but once you close the cover everything is gone and you move on. Well, I won’t say that Catching Jordan is deeply profound and I will think about it for years to come (no, this is not a bad thing), but it hit on subjects that most people tend to avoid; sexual promiscuity and athletes. The difficulty of being friends with girls, and learning to stand behind your dreams when no one else will.
This is the absolute best football book I’ve ever read! I love the fact that Jordan is female and all she wants to do is play football. She has her eyes set on going to Alabama for college so she can play college ball. Her best friends sticks by her and her dad abandons her (or so it seems) with this dream. I know absolutely nothing about football, other than what people have tried to teach me during the Super Bowl. But I know that it is a big deal for most of the United States and that making it on a college football team is second best only to going pro. It is a sport that brings out the best of us or the worst of us. It is one of the roughest sports around so a female quarter back as the main character already starts the book off on an awesome not. But what is even better is that Jordan isn’t a “show” quarterback, she is the leader of the team and she can hang with the big guys and take them on head to head. The downfall is that she’s not sure what it means to be a girl. But honestly, when I was in high school neither did I. I have realized that it doesn’t really matter; some things should not be allowed to define our characters or who we are as a person.
High school in and of itself can be the most excruciatingly painful thing that most people experience. But it holds the potential of promise, that ultimately (as with life) it is what we make of it and we will always get out of it what we put into it. Jordan faces some tough situations on and off the field, her dreams are challenged, and like the rest of the world she begins to lose her way when she takes her eyes off the goal. But also by doing so, she is able to expand who she is and able to see the world instead of only her small part in it. She learns that she can be a girl in more than just her anatomy and still rock it on the football field. She realizes that you don’t have to choose on over the other, but they can both work together to create opportunities that will help her realize her dream.
Though I would describe this as a feel good relevant book, some parts are quite annoying. Why do guys always assume that girls know things that they don’t? The whole love triangle that really isn’t a triangle thing? Annoying, but I really enjoyed this book and think that you will too.
You'll definitely want to read this one!