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Football Genius
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Football Genius
Football Genius Series, Book 1
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New York Times bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green scores a touchdown with this exhilarating and action-packed story about an ordinary boy who becomes a hero you can really root for....
New York Times bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green scores a touchdown with this exhilarating and action-packed story about an ordinary boy who becomes a hero you can really root for....
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Description-

  • New York Times bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green scores a touchdown with this exhilarating and action-packed story about an ordinary boy who becomes a hero you can really root for. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica.

    Twelve-year-old Troy White has a phenomenal gift: He can predict football plays before they even happen. Any position. Any player. Any team.

    When Troy's single mom gets a job working for the Atlanta Falcons, Troy sees this as an opportunity to show what he can do. But first he has to get to the Falcons—and with tight security and a notoriously mean coach, even his mom's field passes aren't much help.

    Then Troy and his best friends devise a plan to get the attention of star linebacker Seth Halloway. With Seth's playing and Troy's genius, the Falcons could be unstoppable if they'll only listen. But if he can't convince Seth he's telling the truth, the Falcons' championship and his mom's job are at risk.

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One

    Troy knew it was wrong. It was wrong to sneak out of the house after midnight. It was wrong to take something that wasn't yours. And, even though he wasn't that kind of kid, that night, he was doing both.

    Usually, on a night like that night, the crickets' end-of-summer song and the moths bumping against the window screen would put him to sleep. Usually, he didn't hear his mom turn off the TV in the living room. And usually, if he was up that late, the water groaning through the pipes while his mom ran her bath would finish him off. But that night, worry kept him awake. Because he really wasn't the kind of kid to sneak out, and especially to take something that wasn't his.

    But if he did have to quietly slide open the screen, straddle the window, and drop to the ground with a thud, this was a good night to do it. Stars swirled around the big yellow moon, casting shadows perfect for hiding. Shorts and a T-shirt were all he needed to stay warm.

    He didn't plan on having to run, but he laced his sneakers tight in case he did. His feet fell without a sound over the path through the pine trees. He could smell the trees' sticky sap, still warm from the hot September day. An owl hooted somewhere close. A rabbit screamed, then went quiet. The crickets stopped, and only the buzz of mosquitoes filled the air.

    Troy looked back at his house. It was nestled into the pines, with no side or backyard. In front, there was nothing more than a gritty patch of red clay. A tire hung from a limb at the edge of the patch. A target for footballs. The house was more like a cabin, a single-story box with a roof covered by fallen pine needles.

    Still, the weak orange glow from the night-light in the bathroom window was like a friend, calling him back. Away from the owl and the mosquitoes.

    But Troy had other friends, and he dodged through the pine trees into the darkness, finding his way to the railroad tracks almost without looking. He stood on the steel rail, balancing his sneakers and looking down the long line toward the Pine Grove apartment complex, where his friends lived. He tried to whistle, but it came out wrong. He tried again, and again, before giving up.

    "Tate?" he called, first soft, then louder. "Tate."

    A whistle came back at him from the woods, high and clear, the way you'd call a dog. In the light of the moon, he watched two figures climb up the stony railway bed and start walking his way on the tracks. One of the figures was as thin as the rail she balanced on. Tate McGreer, a pretty girl with dark eyes, olive skin, and silky brown hair tied into a ponytail.

    The other was big and burly. A twelve-year-old in the body of a high school kid. Nathan had a buzz cut like his dad and he liked to laugh, big belly laughs. He wasn't laughing now. His eyes were wide and shifting nervously, and he was puffing. Tate was the only one who stayed calm when they heard the low, sad sound of the coming train.

    "The Midnight Express," Tate said, peering down the tracks. "It wakes me up almost every night. Atlanta to Chicago.

    "Like clockwork."

    They all scrambled back down the bank into the rocky ditch, and Tate chewed her gum and nudged them both and asked, "You got a penny?"

    "A penny?" Troy said.

    Nathan dug into his pocket and came up with a nickel.

    "That'll work," she said, taking it from him and scrambling back up the side of the railroad bed.

    The ground underneath them was rumbling now. The train's light glimmered and shook. Troy yelled at her to come back. She set the money down on the rail, glared at the train for a moment with her hands on her skinny hips, then hopped back down into the ditch with them.

    When the train went by in a rush of hot air, it roared so...

About the Author-

  • Tim Green, for many years a star defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons, is a man of many talents. He's the author of such gripping books for adults as the New York Times bestselling The Dark Side of the Game and American Outrage. Tim graduated covaledictorian from Syracuse University and was a first-round draft pick. He later earned his law degree with honors, and he has also worked as an NFL commentator for FOX Sports and NPR.

    His first book for young readers, Football Genius, inspired in part by his players and his own kids, became a New York Times bestseller and was followed by Football Hero, Football Champ, The Big Time, and Deep Zone. He drew on his experiences playing and coaching Little League for Rivals and Pinch Hit and two more New York Times bestsellers: Baseball Great and Best of the Best.

    Bestselling author Jon Scieszka called Tim Green's Unstoppable, a book about a boy's struggle with cancer that debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, "Absolutely heroic. And something every guy should read."

    Tim Green lives with his wife, Illyssa, and their five children in upstate New York.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books chris101 - The book I read was Football Genius by Tim Green. This book is about a boy who can predict any play that's going to be run before the ball is even snapped. But, no one will listen to him about his talent. So the main character Troy try to get someone to listen throughout the book. My opinion of this book would be 4 stars. I thought this book should be rated this high because of the constant suspense after every chapter really left me hanging. This book is realistic fiction because all the components of this book could happen. For example it's very possible for a kid to love football so much he knows all the formations to predict plays before they happen. The audience that would enjoy this book is probably a boy that enjoys to read about sports and or football specifically. Also someone who likes to be left on the edge of their seat while reading. One example of an internal conflict is when Troy has to decide if it's worth it to risk his mom's job in order to help the Falcons make the playoffs by running on to the field to show them his talent. An example of an external conflict is when Troy is fighting his coach because he is better than the starter but he doesn't ever get a chance a playing in a real game.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 9, 2007
    Adult author and former Atlanta Falcon Green (American Outrage
    ) delivers a satisfying YA debut, using his own NFL experience to bring readers behind the scenes. Twelve-year-old Troy White’s athletic ability and his preternatural talent for predicting football strategy are both going to waste (he’s stuck playing second-string on his team), until frustration with a vicious bully on his team pushes him to “borrow” an official NFL football from local Atlanta Falcons star linebacker Seth Halloway. As Troy languishes on his own football team and resents the father who abandoned him, he strives to alert the Falcons of his gift: “Sometimes a kid’s heart tells him to do something and he needs to listen, even if it means getting in trouble.” Acting as a mentor, Seth encourages Troy to come clean about his adventures (“The truth is more important than the trouble it brings”) and to forgive his father’s desertion (“All I know is, things happen. Unless you’re the one they’re happening to, you usually can’t understand it”). Seth ends up dating Troy’s mother and coaching Troy’s team, giving Troy the chance to shine not only on the sidelines, where his play-predicting ability helps bring the Falcons to victory, but on the field as well. “There was no rage fueling him now. It was something else, a blinding energy he never knew he had.” Non-sports fans will root for underdog Troy (“I want to do something. I want to be something. I thought this was my chance”) and enthusiasts will thrill to the firsthand knowledge Green brings to the novel. Ages 10-up.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Bill Parcells, NFL championship coach "As close as you can come to NFL action without putting on the pads. Filled with excitement, suspense—and great football!"
  • Publishers Weekly "Non-sports fans will root for underdog Troy ('I want to do something. I want to be something. I thought this was my chance') and enthusiasts will thrill to the first-hand knowledge Green brings to the novel."
  • ALA Booklist "Green makes Troy a winning hero, and he ties everything together with a fast-moving plot."
  • School Library Journal "A first purchase for libraries looking to bolster their sports fiction."
  • Publishers Weekly "Non-sports fans will root for underdog Troy...and enthusiasts will thrill to the first-hand knowledge Green brings"
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "Appealing...the effortless commingling of real players with fictional characters should keep middle-graders engrossed."

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Football Genius Series, Book 1
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