Friday, November 26, 2010

Football stories for a long holiday weekend

Thanksgiving weekend seems like it's all about football games and turkey. Here's a group of stories about the game and a book about one of its greatest players, Jim Thorpe. Look for these on BookBag with the Amazon and World Catalog search boxes.

Football Champ, by Tim Green (HarperCollins) Fiction. Twelve-year-old Troy White's uncanny gift for predicting football plays is proving to be a powerful secret weapon for the Atlanta Falcons, who hired him as a consultant after he demonstrated his talent. But a seedy reporter with a vendetta suspects the Falcons of cheating and sets out to shred Troy's reputation. Meanwhile, the controversy over Troy's involvement with the pro team threatens not only his own job, but his mom's, too--she's a PR agent for the Falcons. If you like fast-paced sports stories with lots of action and surprises, you'll enjoy the Football Genius novels, of which this is the second.

Touchdown Trouble, by Fred Bowen (Peachtree) Realistic Fiction. It's the biggest game of the season and mere seconds are left on the clock when 12-year-old Sam makes a touchdown, securing victory for the Cowboys! Everything is great...until later, when the team watches a video of the game and Sam realizes that his winning touchdown was scored illegally. The Giants--his team's biggest rivals--should have won. Now what will the Cowboys do? Those who like plenty of play-by-play action mixed with a bit of drama will enjoy this entertaining read.

Jim Thorpe: Original All-American, by Joseph Bruchac (Dial Books/Walden Media) Fictionalized Biography. Jim Thorpe won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played collegiate and pro football, also played professional baseball and basketball, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes in U.S. history. Focusing on Thorpe's years at Pennsylvania's Carlisle Indian School--Thorpe was a Sac and Fox, or Sauk, Indian--this novel brings his early athletic career, especially his college football days, to life. It also gives readers a clear picture of Jim Thorpe the man (not just the athlete) and movingly portrays what life was life for Native Americans at the turn of the 20th century.

Million-Dollar Throw, by Mike Lupica (Philomel Books) Fiction. Eighth-grader Nate Brodie is the star quarterback of his school's football team and is dating Abby McCall, his best friend in the world...but that's where the perfect-life stuff stops. Nate's parents are in financial trouble and might lose the family's home, and Abby is losing her eyesight due to a rare disease. Just when things seem hopeless, Nate wins the chance to throw a football through a target during a college game's halftime festivities--for a million-dollar prize. Can he keep his cool and make the pass? This quick and enjoyable read will keep you turning the pages to see what

15 Minutes, by Steve Young (HarperCollins) Fiction. Casey Little is almost always late. Figuring that a watch might help him, he digs his grandfather's old watch out of the attic...but it doesn't seem to work. It turns out that the watch is actually one of Grandpop's crazy inventions: a Go-Back, or a time machine that transports its wearer back 15 minutes into the past. Dizzy with possibilities, Casey uses the Go-Back to boost his test scores, improve his performance on the football field, look suave for the ladies, and avoid a bully. But what happens when the little changes that Casey makes to the past start affecting other people? This fast-moving and hilarious story is a great pick for football fans who want to read something a little out of the norm.

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