Author: Theodore Weesner 

Publishe:r: Astor + Blue Editions LLC

ISBN: 978-1-938231-06-3


For a fourteen-year-old who’s been abandoned by his mother, forced to deal with an alcoholic father, and is now being snubbed by his wealthier 9th grade classmates, Dale Wheeler is actually a well-adjusted and motivated young man.

He excels both in academics and on the basketball court, and starting today, the first practice of the1961 season, as co-captain, he intends to begin leading his junior high school team to the city-wide championship.

Sadly for Dale, forces are in play that derail his plans. When he discovers that he will not be invited to join the team Whitman Junior High will enter in the city championship after the shorter Scholastic season ends, he experiences a severe emotional breakdown. He wanders away from the school and collapses in the faculty parking lot where later that afternoon, Miss Furbush, his homeroom teacher, finds him.

She’s an attractive woman of 36, and Dale is one of her favorite students. When she learns of his home situation - his father works the second shift at the Chevy plant and won’t be home till midnight - and considering his severe emotional state, she takes a chance and brings him to her apartment where he spills out the terrible story. What follows becomes the beginning of a secret, intense, and touching relationship.

For Dale, it turns out to be good therapy. He soon falls so deep in love with her that losing out on his basketball dream no longer seems so bad. His teacher’s emotions, on the other hand, are more mature and deeply conflicted. The motherless boy stirs her maternal instinct. At the same time, she is attracted to Dale in a deeper way, and over the course of the next several months they struggle to come to terms with and control the attraction they feel for one other. When Dale’s dream is revived as he catches on with another team, a good team, and the pre-ordained showdown with his old team mates looms, Dale’s hopes are once again high.

This read is delivered from the second person point of view. Novels written in the second tend to be narrative-heavy and short on dialogue, and for the first part of the read, Winning the City Redux holds the reader at arms-length. Working through the rhymes Dale is forever repeating is difficult as well, but then, as Dale learns that he won’t be invited to join his own team, the rhyming recedes, the negatives fall away, and the author’s delivery solidifies into a strong, meaningful, and compelling read.


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