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Football Genius Hardcover – July 3, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Football Genius
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (July 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006112270X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061122705
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Adult author and former Atlanta Falcon Green (American Outrage) delivers a satisfying YA debut, using his own NFL experience to bring readers behind the scenes. Twelve-year-old Troy White's athletic ability and his preternatural talent for predicting football strategy are both going to waste (he's stuck playing second-string on his team), until frustration with a vicious bully on his team pushes him to borrow an official NFL football from local Atlanta Falcons star linebacker Seth Halloway. As Troy languishes on his own football team and resents the father who abandoned him, he strives to alert the Falcons of his gift: Sometimes a kid's heart tells him to do something and he needs to listen, even if it means getting in trouble. Acting as a mentor, Seth encourages Troy to come clean about his adventures (The truth is more important than the trouble it brings) and to forgive his father's desertion (All I know is, things happen. Unless you're the one they're happening to, you usually can't understand it). Seth ends up dating Troy's mother and coaching Troy's team, giving Troy the chance to shine not only on the sidelines, where his play-predicting ability helps bring the Falcons to victory, but on the field as well. There was no rage fueling him now. It was something else, a blinding energy he never knew he had. Non-sports fans will root for underdog Troy (I want to do something. I want to be something. I thought this was my chance) and enthusiasts will thrill to the firsthand knowledge Green brings to the novel. Ages 10-up. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Troy White is every football team's dream…even if they don't know it yet. Although he's in middle school, he is a great quarterback on his rec team, and he's got a secret talent—he can watch any football game and, after a few plays, he can call the subsequent plays before they happen. When Troy's mom, Tessa, gets a job as PR assistant for the Atlanta Falcons, Troy thinks he'll get the chance to use his gift and help his favorite team to a winning season. The boy finally manages to convince the star player of his hidden talent, but when it rubs the team's defensive coordinator the wrong way, Tessa's job is threatened. The race is on to try to save the Falcons' season as well as Tessa's job. Written by Tim Green, a former linebacker for the Falcons, this exciting story (HarperCollins, 2007) will immediately draw in sports fans. Narration is performed well by a full cast, including Green. Since so many different voices are used, there is sometimes a choppiness to the narrative. On occasion, overly melodramatic music overshadows the ending of a chapter or the beginning of the next one. A good addition for large libraries and those seeking to attract tween/teen boys.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Read it in two days, and got a 100 on his book report.
Amazon Customer
Our 10 year old football fanatic son loved this book... he couldn't put it down.
K. Graham
I thought it was a great book for sports lovers or anyone who loves to read.
Given Aggie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on July 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Troy White may seem like any ordinary 12-year-old. He listens to his mom, doesn't steal or sneak out (well, maybe just once) and he's a pretty good athlete. Troy and his mother have each other to survive; they aren't rich or poor but are happy together.

But the one thing that separates Troy from every other 12-year-old is his ability to predict what could happen next. He can't predict what he might get on his next exam at school or what will happen to him in the next ten years, though. Instead, Troy can predict football plays before they even happen. Sounds cool, right? But what good is it if Troy can hardly use this gift?

Then Troy's mom gets a job with his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, who aren't doing so well and have been basically losing all of the time. This seems like the perfect chance for Troy to help them out, and maybe they could finally win a game. But would the Falcons jump at the chance and actually believe that a young boy can predict plays, or would they just look at Troy as some crazy fan? With the help of Tate and Nathan, Troy's best friends, Troy might actually pull this off and maybe even learn a little more about his talents, other than his supernatural one.

FOOTBALL GENIUS is a story that both football lovers and non-football fans will enjoy along with any person of any age. Tim Green uses cinematic descriptions that let readers feel that they are experiencing and present at the actual games. As a person who is not a big fan of the sport, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

Reviewed by: Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rhouse on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some children's novels are so good and multilayered that adults can enjoy them as literature. "Football Genius" isn't one of those. It's predictable, unrealistic and has a simple plot.
What "Football Genius" is, however is a very good book for elementary kids. There isn't a lot of depth here, no 'grappling with timely issues', no huge revelation or coming of age. And that's okay! "Football Genius" is an easy-to-understand, moral, fairly exciting (on a youth level) novel for children.

When I taught school, I was always excited to find a new "chapter book" appropriate for the classroom. This would be one I heartily recommend. There is no cursing, no one in danger, nothing dealing with sexuality or other areas that might concern parents. There are lessons for its readers to learn. Lessons about telling the truth, stealing and loyalty--not couched in symbolism, but spoken directly.

The crux of Green's novel is a boy's ability to "read" football plays, almost as an extraordinary "gift" (Troy, the hero of the book, describes it "like ESP!"). Boys,particularly, in elementary would enjoy the football aspects of the book.

No, "Football Genius" isn't great literature and it's not on my 'favorite YA novel list'...but it's a great book for boys and girls 3rd grade and up.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John McCarthy on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tim Green has written some compelling adult fiction. Trying his hand at mid-grade I expected interesting characters and a compelling storyline. He delivered on both. Troy, Tate, and Nathan are the main kids in the story with Tate stealing the shop. Troy has esp-like ability to predict defensive plays based on patterns of calls. He can do this for any level game. He's also a gifted quarterback who rides the bench of his team because the coach's son is the starter, and a bad one at that.

These great storylines are great. Unfortunately, the story never seems completely told as promised. Instead, the book revolves around whether Troy can convince the Atlanta Falcons of his gift, and what he offers. As for playing for his own team, the resolution cheats the reader by having the results occur off stage.

The book is full of inside information about the workings of an NFL team that any sports fan will enjoy. The characters make the book worth reading, just adjust expectation to focusing on the relationships among the friends, and between Troy's mother and Seth, the Atlanta Falcon's middle linebacker--not how Troy's gift might influence the Falcon's chances for a superbowl or his chance for leading his own team to victory.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ah Vid Reader on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is book for football lovers captures the imagination of the reader by combining reality with fantasy; it is written by a former football player. Even reluctant readers immerse themselves in the story, particularly boys age 9-12.
The main character, who loves football, has extraordinary powers. The author created a wholesome high interest, controlled vocabulary story.
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Format: Paperback
“The Football Genius” is a book full of great action and drama. This book centers on a twelve year old like me, Troy. Troy has powers to foresee NFL plays that are going to happen whenever his home team the Atlanta Falcons, are on the football field. Troy, doesn’t understand that just because he is a kid the NFL coaches will not believe him when he tells them he knows what plays are going to happen on the football field. Despite this struggle, he never stops trying to succeed in dreams. This is an inspirational book that makes you want to do what the characters in the book are doing.
The action takes place at an Atlanta Falcon’s star Seth Halloway’s house where Troy steals an important football from his backyard. This sparks the rest of the story. Troy gets two outstanding field passes to the Falcons game from his Mom who works for the Falcons as a PR. At the game, he tries to tell Coach Krock the Defensive Coordinator for the Falcons, what the play will be. Coach Krock thinks he is crazy so he calls the guards over to take him away. His mom tries to stand up for him and she gets fired. Coach Krock caused lots of drama in Troy’s life. Coach Krock does not like Nick and wants him out of his life, but Troy keeps trying, not letting Coach Krock interfere with his plans trying to make the Falcons a winning team. Troy keeps trying and coming up with new plans. Seth Halloway saw that Troy was right in his play calling. Seth likes Troy’s family very much is on his side. Seth helps Troy and his family make things right.
The author does a fantastic job making me feel like I was in the book by making the descriptions very realistic.
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More About the Author

Tim is the NY TIMES BESTSELLING author of fourteen highly successful suspense novels, including soon-to-be-released FALSE CONVICTIONS and national bestseller ABOVE THE LAW, as well the non-fiction New York Times Bestseller, THE DARK SIDE OF THE GAME which was featured on CBS's 60 Minutes. His last five novels have all been national bestsellers hitting the charts between #22 and #30 on the NY Times Bestseller list. While his first five novels used professional football as their backdrop, his most recent works have drawn more on his experiences as a lawyer exploring the themes of ambition and revenge.

Tim is also the author of a memoir entitled A MAN AND HIS MOTHER: AN ADOPTED SON'S SEARCH which was featured in PEOPLE magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and ABC's Prime Time.
His writing career began at Syracuse University where he was a Rossman Scholar for Humanities, a Syracuse Scholar, an NCAA Top Six Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, and co-valedictorian of his class. While studying English Literature, Tim became acquainted with the renowned minimalist Raymond Carver, and had the opportunity to study under the award-winning writer and professor Tobias Wolff.

During his studies, Tim also played football for the Syracuse Orangemen with a career that included a consensus All-American honors as well as his recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons where he was a star defensive end for eight years. During his NFL career, Green began his thirteen year career as a commentator for National Public Radio, wrote columns for USA Today, and received his law degree with honors at Syracuse University. Because of his accomplishments both Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times have called Tim Green the "Renaissance Man" of sports. After his playing career, Tim spent eleven years as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports and recently hosted FOX's nationally syndicated news magazine, A Current Affair. His other broadcast experiences have included ABC Good Morning America's legal commentator, Court TV's Pros and Cons, host of FOX Sports Net's Emmy nominated show NFL TOTAL ACCESS, and Comedy Central's Battlebots. Recently, Tim hosted the ABC Prime Time reality show, FIND MY FAMILY.
In 2007, Tim wrote FOOTBALL GENIUS, his first novel for young readers, and an instant NY Times Bestseller. The success and enjoyment of working with his own kids on the project resulted in FOOTBALL HERO, which was released in 2008. In both novels, Tim models the main characters after his own children, submerging them into a suspenseful world that blends adolescent life and sports with the visceral realm of the NFL. FOOTBALL HERO was selected as a Junior Library Guild choice and a GMA summer page turner for young adults. Most recently he released BASEBALL GREAT, another NY Times Bestseller, as well as FOOTBALL CHAMP. Tim's newest young reader novel, RIVALS, will be released in stores in March 2010.
Tim lives with his wife, Illyssa, and their five children in upstate New York. More information about Tim can be found at his Web site

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