Leverage by Joshua Cohen

Leverage Joshua Cohen pulls together the brutal, intense, harsh worlds of: football, gymnastics, bullying, horrible secrets, and meeting expectations, in excellent but painfully harsh at times read.  Leverage throws you into the world of Danny and Kurt, two completely different guys, or maybe not so different.  Danny is small, athletic, and dreams about getting himself a full ride to college for gymnastics. His moves on the uneven bars make audiences gasp.  Kurt is a beast, a football playing beast, who was recruited from another high school by his coach. But Kurt has much more to him, a nightmarish past and a future that greatly depends on his success in his new spot on the hardcore and hard hitting Oregrove Knight’s high school football team.  A team with some members, pumped full of steroids, who bully and brutalize the seemingly small and weak. When this bullying goes beyond just teasing to terrible cruelness and evil Danny and Kurt find themselves coping with the terrible repercussions and a unlikely friendship that helps them through it. 

Recommended for students in 9th grade and up