By Tim Conrad
Thistle Productions – 2010 – USA – ISBN: None
Reviewed by Dr. Greg Linville
Conrad “connects from long range” in his second Sapphire Lake Novel: Go the Distance. This delightfully written basketball novel is highly recommended….
“Go the Distance” is a sequel to the much heralded “Game Plan.” It reunites the hard luck Wyatt, and his emerging star and friend, Anthony with all their Sapphire Lake teammates on a road trip to compete in a national basketball tournament. “Go the Distance” combines an excitement and intrigue geared to pre-adolescents who will be riveted by the adventures and dilemmas of the young athletes who compete for coach Calhoun on the Sapphire Lake Tigers team. The fictional southern town of Sapphire Lake is where the Tigers hail from but the journey to Miami and the National Tourney is where most of the action takes place. Any kid who has played for a traveling team will identify with the twists and turns of a “road trip.” Themes of dealing with a grandparent’s death, injuries, the homeless and how to cope with referees, overzealous fans and “huge” opponents will resonate with the pre-high school crowd. Once again, Conrad superbly connects the “echo boomer” generation to issues of faith through a story based upon a sports experience. Once again, this Sapphire Lake story is geared for children (highly recommended for the 10-14 aged crowd), but may have more impact on the parents, coaches and league directors who will read it to their children or team.
Catch Phrases Worth Remembering
Go The Distance is coach Calhoun’s new theme for helping his team deal with the highs and lows of traveling to, and competing in, a national tourney. It provides a great model as it demonstrates how youth coaches can mold their teams in positive and memorable ways.
Points of Contention
Thanks Tim for your continued gift to the sports ministry world. This is cutting edge Youth Literature which really understands sport, and mission oriented sports outreach ministry.
Uncharted Waters is a Preferred Partner of CSRM. In addition, my daughter and many of my Sports Ministry students have served for a summer in the ministry of Uncharted Waters. I also currently serve on the Uncharted Waters Board and Tim and I are collaborating on new projects, including writing projects.