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When Marcus moves to a new town in the dead of summer, he doesn't know a soul. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older man. Charlie is a...
When Marcus moves to a new town in the dead of summer, he doesn't know a soul. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older man. Charlie is a...
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  • When Marcus moves to a new town in the dead of summer, he doesn't know a soul. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older man. Charlie is a charismatic prankster--and the best football player Marcus has ever seen. He can't believe his good luck when he finds out that Charlie is actually Charlie Popovich, or "the King of Pop," as he had been nicknamed during his career as an NFL linebacker. But that's not all. There is a secret about Charlie that his family is desperate to hide.

    When Marcus begins school, he meets the starting quarterback on the team: Troy Popovich. Right from the beginning, Marcus and Troy disagree--about football, about Troy's ex-girlfriend, Alyssa, but most of all about what's good for Charlie. Marcus is betting that he knows what's best for the King of Pop. And he is willing to risk everything to help his friend.

About the Author-

  • Gordon Korman wrote his first book at age fourteen and since then has written more than eighty-five middle grade and teen novels. Favorites include the New York Times bestselling Ungifted and the Masterminds series, as well as the teen novel Pop. Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York. You can visit him online at www.gordonkorman.com.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books Mrs. Young - A very enjoyable story about football and more! I highly recommend it!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 21, 2009
    Shortly after moving to a new town, Marcus encounters Charlie, a strange, middle-aged man who turns out to be an incredible football player. Marcus, hoping to be a varsity quarterback at his new school, begins meeting Charlie regularly. Charlie is a challenging and rewarding opponent, but there are mysteries about him that plague Marcus (“It was annoying, but waiting to see if Charlie was going to show up soon became Marcus's personal reality TV show”). Most puzzling: “For some reason, he thought he was a teenager, too.” At school, Marcus loses the quarterback position to school hero Troy—Charlie's son. Troy is oddly guarded about his father, but Marcus eventually figures out Charlie's secret: the repeated blows the former NFL player received resulted in early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Korman (The Juvie Three
    ) skillfully weaves football terminology into the narrative without making it sound like a playbook, and Marcus's heartfelt loyalty to Charlie is believable, if the plotting is occasionally less so. Despite the athletic focus, this thought-provoking story is, at its core, about friendship and should have broad appeal. Ages 12–up.

  • New York Times Book Review

    "A brisk, heartfelt and timely novel."

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "Korman goes straight to the heart."

  • Publishers Weekly

    "Thought-provoking."

  • Tim Green, author of the New York Times bestselling Football Genius and Football Champ

    "Funny, poignant and full of football action, POP hits you hard and doesn't let up."

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