Football Genius

Football Genius

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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Troy White's middle school football team doesn't see that he has an unusual gift of predicting future plays with an almost supernatural accuracy. But as a second-string quarterback, Troy can only watch from the bench as the coach's son plays. To make matters worse, his beloved team, the Atlanta Falcons, is tanking. When Troy's mother is hired to work for the Falcons, Troy's fortunes, both on and off the field, begin to change
Publisher: [Syracuse, N.Y.] : Full Cast Audio, 2008
ISBN: 9781934180716
Branch Call Number: Audio Download--YA/Jr High
Audience: Accelerated Reader MG 4.8 7 115892


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JCLChrisK Aug 14, 2013

This has been a very popular book (and series) in my library, particularly with young guys who are into sports, and for good reason. It's a story of empowered youth overcoming the odds and the prejudices of adults to prove they are capable and worthy of respect. And, unlike many similar books, the adults aren't all doofuses--even the "bad guy"--but are portrayed as layered, complex, and realistic; they're just uniformly flawed in their very normal perspective that kids aren't as capable as adults. So it's up to the kids to prove them wrong. The kids are equally three-dimensional--even the hero is far from perfect--and relationships, both peer and parental, are complex. There are numerous obstacles, a mix of successes and failures, and suspense aplenty. Oh, and it's all about football. It's a winning formula.
My rating might have been higher except it very much is a formula book that manipulates emotions and contains no surprises; nothing wrong with that because it's very appealing, but it's not great literature. More importantly, I was left feeling uneasy about a subtle sexist misogyny I sensed. Even though Troy's single mom and best friend are very strong female characters that are rightfully respected by everyone they encounter, there's still an underlying sense that they are still not quite equal to the men. And though Troy knows he's being disrespectful and immoral, there's ultimately an endorsement of the way he lies to his mom and breaks her rules to achieve his victory, as though she just doesn't "get it" enough to understand the importance of Troy's football gifts. She loves him, but she's still an obstacle to overcome, and though the connection was never made I felt part of the reason she was an obstacle was due to her inherent female nature.


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