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Author: Green, Tim
Troy, a sixth-grader with an unusual gift for predicting football plays before they occur, attempts to use his ability to help his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he must first prove himself to the coach and players.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 115892
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 41697
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/07)
School Library Journal (00/70/7)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/07)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2007 Despite being the most able quarterback on the Tigers, twelve-year-old Troy isn’t getting any playing time—Coach Renfro sees to it that his own son, Jamie, has a lock on that position. Trying to rile his rival, Troy swipes a team football from the backyard of his sports hero, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Seth Halloway. Jamie feigns indifference and mocks the losing Falcons, but Troy’s social capital may be on the upswing nonetheless: his single mom has just landed a job in PR with the Falcons. However, the first time Troy wields his all-access pass he’s in trouble; gifted with a savant-like ability to identify patterns in offensive plays, Troy tries to catch the attention of the coaching staff and save the game, but he only succeeds in getting himself thrown out and jeopardizing Mom’s job. After several disappointing attempts to prove his talent, Troy convinces the team’s owner to give him a try, saves the Falcons’ season, hooks Halloway up with Mom, lands himself a $10,000 per game slot as ball boy (signaling plays from the sideline), and of course dishes the Renfros their richly deserved comeuppance. This exercise in predictable wish-fulfillment runs on a little longer than necessary, and Troy’s de rigueur sidekicks and wise counselor grandfather add little overall. The premise of Troy’s prescience is appealing, though, and the effortless commingling of real players with fictional characters (Falcon Michael Vick’s high-profile dogfighting scandal is doubtless a distraction Green could not have anticipated) should keep middle-graders engrossed. EB - Copyright 2007 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2007 Gr 5-8-This novel has much to recommend it. Troy White is a typical 12-year-old in many ways, dividing his time between school, organized sports, and friends. He has one special talent, though: when he watches football on television, he subconsciously computes team statistics, players, and other variables, and he can call the plays before they happen. What could be a nice parlor trick takes on new significance when his single mother gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons' public relations department. Suddenly, Troy is in a position to help the struggling team win, if he can only make the grownups around him listen. It's an uphill battle at first, but eventually running back Seth Halloway witnesses Troy's uncanny ability and puts his own job on the line to help convince the coach and the team's owner. Drawing heavily on his own eight years as a linebacker for the Falcons, Green gives armchair quarterbacks a rare and realistic glimpse at the pain, sweat, and politicking of professional football. He includes enough cameo appearances from real players (Mike Vick, John Abraham, and Demarrio Williams, among others) to make fact and fiction meld seamlessly. Fictional characters are fairly two-dimensional, especially the scheming assistant coach who wants nothing more than to see the team lose so that he can step in as head coach. Nonetheless, the fast action and plot twists will keep fans of the game glued to the story. A first purchase for libraries looking to bolster their sports fiction.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2007 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2007 Troy White has a lot of frustrations. His father abandoned the family when he was little, his beloved Atlanta Falcons team seems destined for another losing season, and, on his own football team, his gifts as a quarterback are ignored while he sits on the bench, watching the coach’s son on the field. Troy’s most unusual gift is his ability to predict coming football plays with uncanny accuracy. When his mother is hired for a PR job with the Falcons, Troy sees an opportunity, yet he can’t convince anyone to recognize his talents. Finally, the Falcons’ middle linebacker sees Troy’s gifts, and Troy becomes the team’s secret weapon. Some kids will find the premise a little far-fetched. Still, the author, who has written numerous adult titles and spent eight years in the NFL, imparts many insider details that football fans will love. Green makes Troy a winning hero, and he ties everything together with a fast-moving plot. - Copyright 2007 Booklist.