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Summary: Ty, a 12-year-old football prodigy, has plenty of stress in his life. His older brother Thane, a pro football player, is his caretaker, because his parents died in a car accident. Ty gets to travel with Thane and attend lots of the behind-the-scenes activities that go with his brother's job. Ty's Uncle Gus loves hearing about Thane and the Jets, but it isn't until the FBI arrives on his doorstep that he realizes that Uncle Gus is passing the information on to the Mob. The FBI thinks Thane is involved, but Ty knows differently and wants to set the record straight.
Just when things are looking better for Ty, the Mob shows up again ... this time in the form of the Dad of a teammate, who kidnaps them while they are in Florida for a playoff game. Will Ty ever be safe from thugs and criminals?
This is the fifth book in a life-lesson series that uses sports as a centerpiece for helping kids.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 and up; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: This is a great book. Through every ordeal Ty's love for his brother and his brother's love for him shine through the story. It is the one constant thing that Ty can always can count on. I recommend reading it after reading Tim Green's The Big Time. There are two characters from The Big Time that become important characters in Deep Zone. Anyone who enjoys reading mysteries and sports adventure books would enjoy this one. Readers in the age range of 10-14 would like this book. This would be a wonderful book to give as a birthday gift, along with The Big Time.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: The action will keep you on the edge of your seat. Even if you're not a huge football fan, if you love mysteries, you'll like this book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a book with long-term potential. The excitement is enough that even if you know how it turns out, you might read it again.
Educational Themes: There are several points in the story where trust is pivotal, both in relying on your own instincts, trusting your family, and/or adults in general. There is also a lot to discuss with choices and ethics. Would [you] do what Ty did?
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - sports, football, life lessons, family, series
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2011
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.