Slot Machine

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Aug 16, 1996 - Juvenile Fiction - 256 pages
15 Reviews

"If you don't have a slot, what are we going to do with you?"

It's called Twenty-One Nights with the Knights. But for Elvin Bishop--fourteen, overweight, and a self-proclaimed nonathlete--this summer sports "retreat" is more like the twenty-one trials of hell.

As everyone around him, including his best friends, slips smoothly into athletic "slots," Elvin is pounded on the football field, slammed on the baseball diamond, and tortured on the wrestling mat--always coming out a complete failure. But appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes real strength comes from breaking the rules rather than playing the game. And sometimes finding acceptance is less about fitting in than about making your own way--with grit and humor.

All incoming freshmen at Flagship Academy’s summer program are suppose to find an athletic ‘slot’ for themselves. But there is no slot for Elvin, a wise-cracking, overweight sports incompetent who bounces from one humiliating game to another. How he discovers his own place for himself—with grit and humor—makes for "a funny, poignant coming-of-age story...[A] wry, thoughtful book [that] speaks with wisdom and heart to the victim and outsider in us all."—BL.

Bulletin Blue Ribbons 1995 (C)
1996 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1996 Best Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA)
Books for Youth Editors' Choices 1995 (BL)
1996 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
Young Adult Choices for 1997 (IRA/CBC)


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Review: Slot Machine (Elvin #1)

User Review  - Austin Fuqua - Goodreads

It's about this kid named Elvin who was fat and depressed couldn't find a sport to play because nothing he does is good enough but a good friend sticks with him and by the end they no what good friendship is and that you don't need sports to make you popular or better Read full review

Review: Slot Machine (Elvin #1)

User Review  - Mohamed Albadani - Goodreads

first thing like this book because its talk about when you jest have only 2 friends and its talk about a lot of things . i read from page 5 77. i love this book Read full review


A fine howdoyoudo
Oh my god Football
Oh my god Still football
Take me out to the ball game and pummel me
Grappling Knight
Some pain some gain
Gonna flyyy nowww theme from Rocky
Oh yes my other family
Goodbye Potato
Through the cracks of society
I2 Coronations and crossroads

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 49 - I've bui1t up before noon every day—have become popular activities. They are by far the most unifying community events here, much bigger than movie night or campfire time, although they are similar in that the guys do all link arms and sing songs at my MOLE, Mom. It's just a shame that it's only gargantuan and blue and fuzzy and not hot as well, or I'm sure there'd be marshmatlows involved.
Page 206 - Myself, I remained. Like the moment before, and the year before. Undecided. Unclear. Unmoved. Unattracted. Paralyzed with the depth of my own nothingness. I made my decision the way I made all my decisions. By sitting passively.
Page 49 - I haven't had a chance to show you my MOLE lately, but picture it just like when I was a baby, only five hundred times larger and bluer Well, due to my MOLE, all my disrobings—for showers, for bed.
Page 79 - What do you know, they've all turned up in my Sector Every morning we meet . strip together, pull on tights, then spend the rest of the day rolling around on the floor together They have mass here two times a day.
Page 234 - He reached up and yanked a string that was like a light switch, unveiling—"... a pinata." The Art Brothers had gotten together to build it, and it was professional. Papier-mache, bigger than life size.
Page 63 - They say that the hardest thing to do in all of sports is to hit a baseball.
Page 235 - It had angel's wings, and an angelic expression looking 23-* heavenward. And it had Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles, shoulder pads, a baseball cap on backward. With one hand it was leaning on a baseball bat, with the other it was grabbing its crotch.

References to this book

About the author (1996)

Chris Lynch is a National Book Award finalist and the author of many highly acclaimed books for young adults, including The Big Game of Everything, Who the Man, and the Michael L. Printz Honor Book Freewill; Iceman, Shadow boxer, Gold Dust, and Slot Machine, all ALA Best Books for Young Adults; and Extreme Elvin. He also mentors aspiring writers and teaches in the creative writing program at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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