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The reluctant junior golfer
April 13, 2011

Sometimes more is gained by participating in a sport than by winning. It takes discipline, concentration and perseverance to play golf well, but there are other lessons to be learned, which fourteen-year old Sam Parma soon discovers in Tony Rosa's The Schoolboy. Rosa brings his own life experiences as a young, reluctant golfer in his insightful novel, which has been re-released under the Jackpot Press imprint ($9.95 paperback, $3.95 e-book, 134 pages).

"I'm excited about the story being with a new publisher," says Rosa. "And it's given me an opportunity to tweak a few style and point-of-view issues discovered in the original version."

The Schoolboy by Tony RosaA recipient of the Reviewers Choice Award from Reader Views, The Schoolboy is a first person account of fourteen-year-old Sam Parma and the challenges he faces spending a day at the golf course playing in a junior tournament. A reviewer at Kirkus Discoveries writes, "Sam's foursome is a panoply of irksome idiosyncrasies, including foul-mouthed Buzzy, who lies regularly about his score; hulking hooligan Mark, who'd rather drive his ball through a nearby house's windowpane than into the cup; and rich-kid Chad, who's actually a nice guy and an annoyingly good golfer. Once on the links, Sam suffers the trials of Job. He's ambushed by sand traps and water hazards; his 3-wood disintegrates mid-swing; he has a scary run-in with what appears to be a one-armed fiend while searching for a lost ball; and his flubbing of two easy putts gets immortalized by a local TV-news crew. Trailing the cheating Buzzy and marauding Mark, crying out for justice and receiving none from the indifferent powers-that-be, Sam veers perilously close to the moral rough. Slipped into Rosa's lighthearted tale is a serious exploration of the moral dilemmas faced by these quirky, appealing teen characters . . . the precepts Sam learns-lonely are the brave; it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game; with a little luck and a lot of concentration, once in a while you can hit par-fall gracefully from the story."

"Ask any group of kids, participating in any sport, about taking home a trophy and I believe most of them will tell you that it is the reason why they compete," Rosa says. "And, I agree with that. As a matter of fact, the current trend of giving a trophy to kids for just participating irks me. Growing up, I was urged to play in a number of junior golf tournaments and I always came home empty-handed. I wrote The Schoolboy as a testament that all of life's victories are not on display in the trophy case."

A reviewer for the Cape Gazette writes, "Rosa's description of the tournament action among the four players shows either how autobiographical this book really is, or that Rosa's had years of experience watching junior tournaments... For the young golfers reading it, they'll be reassured to learn that they're not so different from their peers. For older readers, they may experience a sometimes-wincing remembrance of their own past, tinged with fondness."

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