Gordon Korman's acclaimed and timely YA novel explores the dangerous side of high school contact sports.
Marcus is new in town and is hoping to make the championship high school football team, but it seems like a closed club, run by current star quarterback Troy.
One day, while tossing the ball around in a park one day, Marcus meets Charlie, a man in his fifties who can play football like an old pro, which is exactly what he happens to be — a former NFL player and local celebrity. Charlie has boundless energy and coaches Marcus on his fear of being tackled, but as Marcus becomes more involved in this friendship with Charlie, it becomes painfully obvious to him, through the simplicity of Charlie's thoughts, that the long-term effects of the violent plays he suffered during his football glory days have taken their toll on Charlie.
With wit and sensitivity, Gordon Korman tackles truths about high school sports, while delivering a poignant story about an unlikely friendship.