A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Football is just the setting for a story about gifted teen writers achieving success in the professional adult world.
Positive Role Models
Many characters behave nobly, even at personal risk and sacrifice.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing, and an older man hits on an underage girl.
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Some mild swearing, plus other cursing dashed out, as in "---- you."
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Products & Purchases
Soft drink brand.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The plot hinges on athletes taking illegal growth-enhancing drugs. Some drinking and cigars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book is very mild by young adult standards; "hell" and "damn" are said a few times, there's some non-explicit kissing, and the mystery involves illegal growth-enhancing drugs used by athletes.
Is It Any Good?
Young readers will enjoy watching kids give adults their richly deserved comeuppance in this entertaining tale.
John Feinstein, sports reporter for print publications and NPR, knows the world in which he sets the story -- not just the world of professional sports, but that of the media who cover it. Football is just the setting for a story about gifted teen writers achieving success in the professional adult world.
While Feinstein infuses the details with the kind of gritty realism you'd expect from someone with his background, the overall plot is a sportswriter's fantasy of the Big Story that falls perfectly into his lap. But it's that very perfection that makes this so satisfying. Add to that some terrific suspense and an outcome that's never really in doubt, and you have something akin to the old Mission: Impossible TV series, in which the suspense and pleasure come from watching it all fall neatly together.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.