Where Dreams Die Hard: A Small American Town and Its Six-Man Football Team

In the wake of 9/11, veteran Texas true-crime writer CARLTON STOWERS was consciously seeking out a story that might recharge his flagging faith in humanity and restore, in his words, “some degree of comfort and innocence.” He stumbled across the Wolverines of Penelope High School (town population: 211), whose recently revived six-man-football program was struggling to notch only its second win in four years. The result, WHERE DREAMS DIE HARD: A SMALL AMERICAN TOWN AND ITS SIX-MAN FOOTBALL TEAM (Da Capo), is a moving, if occasionally mawkish, look at the hard-nosed sport played by schools too small to field traditional squads. Stowers finds the solace he was seeking in Penelope, a place where neighbors enter unlocked doors to deliver unexpected kindnesses, and his account is like spending a weekend with your country cousin.

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