Football Hero

Title: Football Hero
Author: Tim Green
Pub: Harper Collins; 2008
Pages: 297
Genre: Young Adult, Sports
Extra: Sunshine State book

First, I have to tell the truth here: I am not a football fan. At all. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not against the sport or anything, I'm just not this sporty girl that can sit around and watch football (or any sports for that matter) all day. Going to games can be fun because I like the community and the spirit and the excitement. Do I know what's really going on? Er, not so much. With that truth kinda being out there, I would never have picked this book up except I wanted to do a book talk on a novel that I thought would gain interest from my boy students.

Ty is a high school freshman and his life could not be more upside down. His parents died in a tragic accident so he's now living with his Uncle Gus, Aunt Virginia, and cousin Charlotte. Uncle Gus is a lazy entrepreneur who cleans businesses for a living. Or rather, he claims that he does. In reality, Uncle Gus "teaches the work ethic" to Ty and Charlotte. Yup. After long days at school they must work in the family business.

At school the Coach notices his speed and wants him to play on the team. Ty can't help but be really excited. He doesn't talk about it much but his brother is Thane, aka Tiger, of Syracuse. Ty doesn't get to see Thane that much but he adores his brother and totally wishes to emulate him. Well, of course Uncle Gus won't let Ty play football; it conflicts with the work schedule. Ty is bummed.

Until...one of Uncle Gus's clients - Lucy - finds out that Ty is related to Thane. Lucy is in with the mafia and he figures this is the perfect opportunity to make some big bucks betting on the games. He uses Ty's relationship with Thane to find out who's injured and who's bluffing. Poor Ty is caught in the middle of this mind boggling drama about what it means to be family.

I admit it, I kinda dug this book. Sure, there were plenty of times when I was all, "you've got to be kidding me!" because what happened in the story just didn't seem all likely to play out like that in real life. but it was still a good story and I think that most kids will like it.

Oh, and as for the football stuff ('cuz the book was written by a football player), yah, there was talk about plays, etc., and I admit, I had no idea what they were talking about. But it wasn't enough to take away from the story for me (someone ignorant of the game) and I think that it will definitely add to the story for those football fanatics.

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