Gym Candy By: Carl Deuker

Johnson, James Johnson; Hinkle 1


Mick, the protagonist. He feels pressured by his dad's success in football and is always trying to impress his dad. He will do ANYTHING to impress his dad. Even steroids.

Mike Johnson, Mick's dad. He played in college and was drafted to the NFL. A great football player, so naturally he expects the same from Mick.


In this story, Mick goes through lots of changes. He doesn't know how to react when he gets in high school and isn't the best there. His dad tells him that's normal and it'll just take more hard work. Instead, Mick finds steroids. So, the theme is, when you find the easy way out, but know it's wrong, do not do it. Never cut yourself short. In other words, continue to work hard and believe in yourself.


It takes place in a part of Seattle, Washington that is more country side than city. It never says exactly when it is, but it seems like present day.

Conflict and Plot

Man vs Self

It's Mick vs himself because the whole time he knows what's right. He knows that he shouldn't inject himself but does anyway.


The steroids symbolize the temptations in life, which we know are wrong, but decide to do anyway for our benefit. It blinds us of how it could negatively affect ourselves and others.

Book Review

I recommend this book for any athlete who is always looking for ways to improve. Or for anyone who feels pressured by their father to be the best that they can be.