Donald James Parker
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A group of eight graders devote themselves to winning the state basketball championship.
There seem to be four inevitable things about Madison, South Dakota: The winters are cold, the summers are hot, the wind never ceases, and the Bulldogs always field a losing basketball team. Lance Masterson, who is known to his peers by the nickname of Bambi, can't do anything about the weather, but he decides he can do something about the basketball program. Though only an eighth grader, he drafts a document dubbed The Bulldog Compact in which the signers pledge to give do everything they can to win the state basketball championship. The mission they chose to accept is to train their bodies, minds, and spirits to make a heroic attempt at conquering the summit of South Dakota basketball. Bambi and his friends come of age as they find it is easier to sign on the dotted line than to pour out the blood, sweat, and tears needed to reach their goal. They discover that not only do they have to overcome the bigger schools of the class A ranks but also have to battle themselves and the naysayers of their own community in order to hang onto their dream.
Although Bambi was in a quiet, reflective mood, the rest of the bubblegummers, as the waitress referred to them, were in a constant state of motion, laughing and yelling. The uproar they produced was enough to strain the sanity of all but the strongest or deafest of the adult generation. Bambi didnâ€™t usually notice the volume because he was a participant and not an observer. Tonight things were different, and the noise was getting on his nerves. After scribbling down Corkyâ€™s order, the waitress turned to Bambi. "Just a root beer, please," he mumbled.
As the weary lady returned to the kitchen, Corky studied his companion. Finally he blurted out, "Bambi, whatâ€™s the matter with you? You hardly said a word all the way down here, and now you donâ€™t order anything to eat. Thatâ€™s just not like you at all. Is there somethinâ€™ bugginâ€™ ya?"
Bambi made a gesture of uncertainty with his hands and heaved a loud sigh. "Yeah, there is. Itâ€™s that stupid basketball game. Iâ€™m getting sick and tired of losing so much."
"But you canâ€™t do anything about that. Itâ€™s not your fault that the Madison Choke Artists staged another classic come-from-ahead-defeat."
"I know, but it still bugs the snot out of me. Did you notice how tired those guys were in the fourth quarter? They arenâ€™t in very good shape at all. Iâ€™ve heard that some of them are smoking and drinking. I really think that some donâ€™t give a rip about the team."
"Holy hangnail, Bambi. You canâ€™t let that get you down. Wait until we get into high school; then weâ€™ll show them how itâ€™s done."
"Yeah, maybe." Suddenly Bambiâ€™s face lit up. "Yeah! Yeah!" he almost shouted the last one. "Thatâ€™s it! Iâ€™ve got it!"
"I hope itâ€™s not contagious."
"Iâ€™ve got an idea of something I can do, noâ€¦that we can do â€“ now. A team needs to stick together, right?" Bambi didnâ€™t even wait for Corky to reply. "I think itâ€™s time we started preparing for our high school careers right now."
Don is a 1968 graduate of Madison Central High School in Madison, South Dakota. He graduated from Dakota State University in Madison in 1972 with a degree in secondary education. After moving to Washington State in 1981, Don studied computer programming and turned his writing efforts to software. After twenty-five years of IT work, Don's passion for writing flared up again, and the doctors couldn't do anything to cure it. The outcome is a five book series involving two generations of the Masterson family and two stand alone books - Reforming the Potter's Clay and Angels of Interstate 29. More are on the way.
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"The Bulldog Compact" is a book I highly recommend. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. A young 8th grade boy has a dream of winning the state high school basketball championship someday ( a feat previous teams from his high school had never done.) As an 8th grader he gets a group of young men together to put forth a compact to help accomplish their goal. As the years go by there are many challenges to their compact both from their peers and from themselves. Do they accomplish the goal? You will have to read the book to find the answer. In addition to being well written and captivating, I found the book to be very motivational and inspirational. An inspiring book for people of all ages.
"The Bulldog Compact" rewards readers with a cast of entertaining and probable characters; a coming of age story realistically presented. On-the-court flourish, sensitive interaction, insight into the mechanisms of determination; and pitfalls of obsession, contribute to this delightfully written tale of one young man's struggle to realize his dream.
Dante Longo II
Bulldog Compact is a teriffic read. Donald Parker writes with a style that keeps the reader wanting to keep turning the pages. It is a book with a story line that makes you want to read more of this author's books. Keep up the good work. I would like to highly recommend this book.
Book Publisher: Sword of the Spirit Publishing
No. of Pages: 188