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Author: Green, Tim
A foster kid with a dream of one day playing in the NFL suddenly finds that he has cancer.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 153641
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 58723
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 Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/12)
School Library Journal (08/01/12)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2012 Gr 4–8—Harrison has spent his youth passed from one foster home to another. When he is rescued from an abusive couple and placed with the Kellys, things seem almost too good. Mr. Kelly is the JV football coach at Harrison's new secondary school, and Mrs. Kelly is a lawyer. They have always wanted a child of their own, and soon Harrison is calling her "Mom" and playing on Coach's team. In spite of his lack of football experience, he proves unstoppable on the field when he gets the ball in his hands. Not all of his teammates are happy about their new 13-year-old star, and when Leo intentionally injures him during a practice, it just makes Harrison more determined to play. The knee injury doesn't get better, though, and an MRI shows much more than a torn ligament: suddenly, Harrison is being treated for bone cancer. He goes through surgery, requiring the amputation of part of his leg, and then chemotherapy, and he vacillates between depression and anger. Helping him through it are Coach and Mrs. Kelly, as well as Coach's old Army buddy, Major Bauer, who lost a leg in the Gulf War. Even when Harrison wants to push his friends away, they rally around him, and he allows himself to dream of playing football again, inspired by real-life athlete and amputee Jeff Keith. In short chapters with cliff-hanger endings, Green clearly shows the difficulties that the teen overcomes, and the truly unstoppable spirit that resides within him. While the dialogue can be a little mawkish, this is a hopeful story that Green's fans will enjoy.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.