Review Blog

Jan 23 2014

Call the shots by Don Calame

cover image

Candlewick Press, 2012. ISBN 9780763655563.
Recommended for readers 12+. An engagingly written book, Call the Shots is a humorous story designed to appeal to boys in lower to middle secondary school. It is the final of a set of three novels (the other two are Swim the Fly and Beat the Band), each told from the point of view of a member of three teenage friends, though it can certainly stand alone.
Coop, the 'brains' of the trio, dreams up an idea of making an ultra low-budget horror movie to solve a problem for Sean, the unassuming protagonist, which is to make enough money to build an extension at Sean's house so he doesn't have to share a bedroom with his obnoxious twin sister when the family's new baby arrives. This is the vehicle through which the reader can laugh while gaining insights into human nature.
There are many different elements in Call the Shots worthy of discussion - trust, belief in oneself, manipulation, girlfriend issues, acceptance - which could make this a worthy novel for classroom discussion. Though clearly written primarily to engage boys, girls will also enjoy this book. Definitely recommended.
Anne Veitch

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