By Gordon Korman

New York: Balzer and Bray, 2009.

260 pages.  Grades 6-8.


I can’t believe mom has moved us this summer—the summer before my junior year.  What’s worse I, Marcus, was ready to start as quarterback but now I have to try out for a new team!  In order to get ready I have started going down to Three Alarm Park to practice throwing—but it’s pretty hard throwing by myself.  On my third day at the park this middle age man catches one of my passes and strikes up a football conversation with me.  He was so knowledgeable and then he tackles me for the first time and whoa!  I take a closer look at him—he is in great shape and very athletic—I am not sure how he tackled me that hard—he said did you feel the ‘Pop’?  I felt a pop and a whole lot more!  This guy’s name is Charlie, Charlie Popovich as I later find out—he was the “king of pop” in his NFL years.  I can’t figure out why he is helping me—but he shows up every day and I am learning a ton.  That’s the good news—the bad news is that I have little or no chance at the quarterback position and will be lucky to make the team since they won their championship last year. I have also angered the starting quarterback by seeing his ex-girlfriend and that quarterback, Troy, his dad is Charlie.  I am confused but Charlie keeps helping me and I don’t know anyone else in this God forsaken place so I keep showing up and so does Charlie.  I know something is not quite right with Charlie but what?  He seems nice enough and everyone in town loves him but he is a strange bird!  Follow my junior year in high school but be prepared for some real twists and turns!


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