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Author: Green, Tim
The companion novel to New Kid, where Brock is in another new town after being on the run with his dad again, and this time, he joins the football team.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 170126
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 65046
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/14)
School Library Journal (-) (08/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2014 Gr 5–8—Picking up right where New Kid (HarperCollins, 2014) left off, the shadowy "bad guys" are chasing Brock and his dad out of town. Another vehicle blocks their escape route and rams them down the side of an embankment. They not only escape unhurt, but also manage to evade the bullets being shot at them. Brock's dad stops their slog through the woods in the pouring rain to check his GPS on his cell phone. They are conveniently close to the runway where the man has parked an airplane. That's when Brock learns that his dad knows how to fly and isn't afraid to play a game of chicken with their assailants, who may be Russians or the "agency." There's plenty of action here, only it's not quite adrenaline-inducing because, while there is menace, there is no bite. The unidentified pursuers are just too inept and Brock's dad is just too lucky. The contrivances become increasingly difficult to believe and are not relegated to the espionage. Readers are expected to believe that the pitching prodigy is also a football prodigy, a quarterback no less. The mentor is the high-school star quarterback son of his dad's love interest. The issue of classism in the football-obsessed town they settle in would be interesting if the coaches were not cardboard stereotypes. A bewildering twist at the end may portend a third book.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2014 Kicking off with a high-intensity car chase, Green’s latest stars 12-year-old Brock Barrette and his dad, who are once more on the run due to secrets from his father’s CIA past. They find refuge in Calhoun, Ohio, a middle-of-nowhere town where Brock’s father promises they can build a normal life. Eager to fit in, Brock knows that Calhoun is a football town and trades in his baseball glove for some pads and a desire to become a first-team quarterback. Town politics are heavily entwined with the sport, and Brock faces bullying from a coach and teammates for being a “Flatty” (from the wrong side of town). Not everyone has it out for Brock; a new friend and the pretty girl from the library help Brock both on and off the field, though when shadows from the past resurface, Brock’s new life is threatened in unexpected ways. This story of friendship, fresh starts, and belonging has appeal that continues far past the end zone. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2015 Books with quarterbacks on the cover do not generally open with bullets flying, planes crashing, and the hero emerging from a three-week coma to find his face-and his father’s-have been altered by plastic surgery. Readers coming off Green’s New Kid (BCCB 3/14) will have realized that the previous title threw them a sports-novel curve ball, shifting a tried-and-true new-player-makes-good plot into a conspiracy thriller. Now Brock’s father comes clean to Brock about his mother’s death, the family’s undercover government work, and Dad’s past need to flee from Russian mobsters on the verge of capture and indictment. With new identities, father and son should be able to settle into a quiet life in a small Ohio town. That’s fine with Brock, who at the urging of buddy Mak goes out for football to pass the time until baseball season. He knows he’s cut out for quarterback, but the nepotistic offensive coordinator begs to differ, pulling every dirty trick in the book to keep Brock on the bench. Dad and Brock each flirt with romance, the threat of assassination abates, Mom turns out to be very much alive, and Brock gets his inevitable moment in the stadium lights, unfortunately reverting what was an unusual twist in the sports genre to business as usual. Motormouth Mak, who cannot say enough about life lessons from his revered father, is a genuinely warm and funny sidekick, though, and there’s still enough core action to make an entertaining novel. EB - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.