Ben McBain is every football team's dream player. He's a jack-of-all-trades guy that can handle almost any position. When the game is on the line, Ben's number is the one being called for the final play. Read more...
Ben McBain is every football team's dream player. He's a jack-of-all-trades guy that can handle almost any position. When the game is on the line, Ben's number is the one being called for the final play. But Ben wants to be the starting quarterback and the one thing standing in his way is the coach's son.
Shawn O'Brien looks the part. He has been groomed by his father, a former professional quarterback. But despite his size and arm strength, Shawn is struggling.
Ben is torn between being a good teammate and going after his own dream. As Ben finds out, Shawn isn't the easiest person to help. And when Ben gets an unexpected opportunity, the entire game will change for the both of them.
Best-selling author Mike Lupica kicks off a winning new series about sports and friendship that will captivate readers.
- ISBN-13: 9780545381826
- ISBN-10: 0545381827
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: May 2012
- Page Count: 207
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Series: Game Changers (Scholastic)
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-04-16
- Reviewer: Staff
In this series opener, Lupica offers another sports hero who must prove himself to coaches who can’t see beyond his short stature. Ben McBain’s father played college football with Doug Flutie, who at 5-ft.-9-in. was the smallest player ever to win the Heisman. Ben has inherited his father’s athleticism but, unfortunately, his petite mother’s build: at age 11, he hasn’t yet cracked five feet. He’s also got the coach’s son, Shawn, filling the spot he wants: quarterback. When Shawn chokes under pressure during the first two games, Ben, an uncommonly mature tween with an encyclopedic knowledge of famous moments in gridiron history, is torn between helping a teammate and hoping he’ll be called on to replace him. The contemporary setting (kids carry cellphones) has a 1950s feel: Ben’s mother knows nothing about sports, is home whenever Ben returns from school, and is always available to make lunch or brownies for Ben and his pals. The on-field action is well described right up through the formulaic ending, which finds Ben in the Flutie role during the championship game. Ages 7–11. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (May)