In the past couple weeks, I’ve read about 8 different football books. Here are my favorites:
1) Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
Felton Reinstein has hit his high school growth spurt, and is dealing with all the changes that come with that, including suddenly becoming a freakishly good athlete. He’s making new friends and even meets a girl, but his life is definitely not all unicorns and rainbows… His mom, who insists her children call her Jerri, has always been a little weird. But a little weird suddenly turns into something scarier, and Felton has no idea what to do about it. I laughed out loud; I grimaced; I got misty eyed. This book has it all. Oh, and there’s football too.
2) The Rookie by Steven Sigler
I’ll admit that it took me a couple chapters before I was sold on this one. The story is set in a future where beings with the nicknames “bats” have taken over most of the galaxy using advanced military technology. These creatures, in an attempt to have various races of the universe get along, have set up the Galactic Football League. The main character, a 19 year old human, is traded from his minor league team to the GFL big leagues, where he has to play and live with creatures from other races for the first time in his life. It’s part sports writing (the football sequences are fantastic, displaying a high level understanding of the game), part coming of age, part adventure, and part space opera. I literally stayed up until 2 in the morning on a school night finishing the darn thing.
3) Pop by Gordon Korman
New kid Marcus moves into a town where the high school football team is coming off an undefeated season, and they aren’t losing many players. He’s still determined to make the team, preferably as quarterback. Marcus spends many of his summer days at Three Alarm Park, first practicing by himself, and then joined by a middle aged man who can out-hit, out-run, and out-athlete Marcus any day of the week. Who the heck is this guy? And why doesn’t he act like a normal adult? Those become the million dollar questions as the story unfolds, and Marcus struggles to do the right thing (even if it means breaking a few rules along the way).