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Summary: Troy (12) loves football. He just led them to a State Championship as their quarterback.Troy has a gift, not only as a player, but as someone who can predict plays. His assistance for the local pro team has gotten him national media attention. He has never known his real father, and his mom and grandfather are raising him. He dreams about meeting his dad, so when Drew shows up at the house unannounced, Troy is thrilled! Troy’s Mom, on the other hand, is suspicious of Drew's sudden interest in being a father. It doesn't take long to figure it out.
Drew's dad is a lawyer and agent for a group of highly paid, extremely dangerous rappers. Unbeknownst to Troy, Drew owes them money. So while Troy is trying to build a relationship with his dad, Drew is trying to make money for himself. He convinces Troy to let him be his agent and help him get a multimillion dollar football contract. Troy ignores his mother's warnings until the FBI comes to see him. Now what should he do? He could miss the chance of a lifetime and/or lose his dad by sending him to jail. This is a sports thriller with real-life lessons for youth players. It has great potential as a high interest/low readability book.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, middle grade reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: I enjoyed this book. It has a lot of action, as well as lots of twists and unexpected turns. Boys and girls ages 10 to 14 who are interested in sports and or mysteries will enjoy this book. It would be a wonderful birthday gift, as I could see that it could become a favorite book to read.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: The action keeps coming and readers won't be able to put down this sports thriller.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book kids could easily come back to for inspiration and support with some of the hard questions they face.
Educational Themes: Troy faces a number of dilemmas, as well as having to take responsibility for his choices. This would be an excellent book for a club discussion ... boys and/or girls!
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 - historical fiction, sports, football, life lessons, family, series
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2011
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazoncom; and feedback at barnesandnoble.com.