Fourth Down & Inches by Carla Killough McClafferty

26 May


Fourth Down & Inches:
Concussions & Football’s Make-or-Break Moment

by Carla Killough McClafferty

(via NetGalley)
Publication Date: September 1, 2013

Playing for University of Georgia, a young man died of head injuries.  UGA, Georgia Tech and Mercer disbanded their football teams.  The Ga. legislature banned football.  But, the mother of the young man asked that the sport her son loved, not be banned.  The governor vetoed the bill.  The young man died on November 1, 1897.

With this lead-off story, the book hooked me for good.  There is more history  about the danger and injuries in football.  Yale-Harvard games were particularly violent.  There are political cartoons, the rise of the referees and opinions of a U.S. President.  The book also gives a good description of what a concussion is with incredible pictures and drawings that are well labeled.

Even so, I missed an emphasis of certain data.  For example, a lot of people believe you have to be unconscious to have a concussion.  It’s not true and the book states it very clearly.  But hidden in the text is the data that only 10% of people lose consciousness.  I wish that data like that had been highlighted or made into a sidebar.  There were other opportunities to stress the information.

But for boys looking for football pictures, this book is filled with them.  And the pictures of the players in action help bring home the point of long-term loss due to concussions.

It’s on my “buy” list for the Fall season.

Recommended: Grades 4 & up.



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