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Unstoppable Hardcover – September 18, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-Harrison has spent his youth passed from one foster home to another. When he is rescued from an abusive couple and placed with the Kellys, things seem almost too good. Mr. Kelly is the JV football coach at Harrison's new secondary school, and Mrs. Kelly is a lawyer. They have always wanted a child of their own, and soon Harrison is calling her "Mom" and playing on Coach's team. In spite of his lack of football experience, he proves unstoppable on the field when he gets the ball in his hands. Not all of his teammates are happy about their new 13-year-old star, and when Leo intentionally injures him during a practice, it just makes Harrison more determined to play. The knee injury doesn't get better, though, and an MRI shows much more than a torn ligament: suddenly, Harrison is being treated for bone cancer. He goes through surgery, requiring the amputation of part of his leg, and then chemotherapy, and he vacillates between depression and anger. Helping him through it are Coach and Mrs. Kelly, as well as Coach's old Army buddy, Major Bauer, who lost a leg in the Gulf War. Even when Harrison wants to push his friends away, they rally around him, and he allows himself to dream of playing football again, inspired by real-life athlete and amputee Jeff Keith. In short chapters with cliff-hanger endings, Green clearly shows the difficulties that the teen overcomes, and the truly unstoppable spirit that resides within him. While the dialogue can be a little mawkish, this is a hopeful story that Green's fans will enjoy.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

With a sharp intensity fueled by both wrenching events and the main character’s white-hot core of rage, Green sends an abused foster kid blasting his way through daunting challenges on and off the football field. Thirteen-year-old Harrison is caught by surprise when his fifth set of foster parents turn out to be a loving couple. Though justifiably suspicious of this change of fortune, he not only makes new friends at school but finds a channel for his temper in the school football team coached by his new foster father. So overwhelmingly fast, strong, and brutal is Harrison that he even intimidates his own team members. But his dream of NFL glory is cut short when an MRI on a knee injury reveals bone cancer advanced enough to require amputation. With coaching from both a hard-nosed disabled vet and an indomitable young fellow patient, Harrison sets his sights not just on rehabilitation but a return to the gridiron. Unlike Green’s previous novels, the game action largely stays in the background, while Harrison’s ferocious struggles with inner demons and physical obstacles make absorbing reading. Grades 5-8. --John Peters

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062089560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062089564
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Tim Green delivers a compelling, heartfelt story through the eyes of one brave young man, determined to be a winner on-and-off the field. A dramatic, emotional story of a young man who had a dream as he lived in foster homes, while enduring a troubled childhood. This engaging story portrays what it takes to be a winner, even when the battle may be against all odds. One dream comes true for the star- running-back on a football team as he fights a dark storm that follows his path. After being diagnosed with cancer, he learns what it takes to be brave with incredible determination. The story not only tugs at the heart, but it draws the reader's attention immediately as we follow the footsteps of a young hero. It makes you smile, and also brings tears to your eyes as you cheer on for one brave boy, who fights and never gives-up. Inspiring, touching, and Highly Recommended to all young readers, and all those who enjoy inspirational stories!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Running, catching, passing, and trucking it all happens in this book. After being removed from his family Harrison moved in with his Godparents. But he wanted to fit in at his new school. So he joined the football team but developed bone cancer and lost his leg. His knee was removed. He kept on working and working at last he could start running again!

This book is good for 4-5th graders. First, it has some harder vocabulary than some chapter books and has a longer text than some books. If you are a sports fan, than you would love this book. It has football most of the pages, also it has good football terminology. Some pages are so good they jump out at you! They use good descriptive words to get me interested. Also this book has mixed emotions that make me fell what the reader is feeling. Read this book and all you will say is WOW!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cecilia P on August 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it was chosen as the One Book, One School book by the middle school I'm beginning to teach at this year. All of the students in our school are asked to read this book, and we teachers are asked to follow up. I suppose the idea was to encourage adolescents to go up against all odds to win out in the end. Based on how my school is using it, I have several reservations. First, there are many books with a similar moral which are better-written. Second, it's a football book, which will definitely appeal to many (though not all) of our boy readers, but not so much to the female population. Third, it has a peculiar stance toward its young protagonist. He's portrayed as nearly superhuman in his skill level, despite the fact that he had never actually played football prior to joining his middle school team. Unfortunately, he is also a player with virtually no regard for his fellow players, whether on his own or an opposing team--he has undiscovered/discussed anger toward the world due to childhood abuse, which he then takes out on his teammates and opponents. His "learning experience"? Cancer. Does it make him a more-rounded, "better" person (which the author seems to intend) -- not really, because his only continuing goal is to play football, no matter what. So I'm left wondering what this book can teach a wide range of the young preteens/early teens it is aimed at.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Love to Read on September 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
LOVE this book -- for it's message of never giving up, values, and being Unstoppable. For boys, girls, and families -- we are reading it together as a family. Thanks Tim Green!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Ponzo on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so I'm leaving this review for my 11-year-old son who really loved this book. I have read most of Tim Green's books to my son at night before bed, but he began to read this one on his own and he became entralled with it. My son does not like to read recreationally and it's usually a chore to get him to read, but I couldn't get him to put this one down. As his bedtime would come and go I would tell him to stop reading and he would ignore me and then plead with me for more time. As a parent how could I tell him to stop reading, I was so glad to see him do something I've been wanting him to enjoy doing for years. Thank you Tim Green.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Damico on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unstoppable by Tim Green is by far the best book i have ever read. Harrison's life starts to look like a normal kid. He is an up and coming star on the football team. Then his luck changes. Tim Green out does himself with unstoppable and i recommend this book to anyone and everyone
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By Carli on October 3, 2015
Format: Paperback
As an adult who has read countless novels, Unstoppable is my new all time favorite book. Not only is this book easy to read with short chapters that end on cliffhangers, but Tim Green was able to use more than just football to keep me interested throughout the entirety of the story. The protagonist, a young boy named Harrison, grew up bouncing between foster homes where he was beaten, mistreated, and neglected; until he is adopted by a loving football coach and his lawyer wife who make him feel love for the first time.

Once he is placed in this home Harrison feels like he has it all, clean clothes, his own room, and the star running back on his adopted dad’s middle school football team where he is oftend referred to as “unstoppable”. Unfortunately, Harrison is right about things feeling like they are “too good to be true”. As he is diagnosed with cancer, his leg is simultaneously amputated from the knee down, forcing him to face many new lifelong challenges. Through Tim Green’s introduction of Harrison’s cancer, he introduces a new important person in Harrison’s life, his hospital roommate, Marty. Marty is a younger kid who has been battling cancer for much longer than Harrison and knows the end of his own life is near. This puts Harrison’s circumstances into prespective since this younger boy who has it worse off is nothing but positive and uplifting. With the amputation of his leg another important character is introduced, Major. As an old friend of his adopted father who comes back from the military, he moves in to help push Harrison to get back on his feet with a prosthetic leg and intensive training. The only hope Harrison has left is that he can come back to football and soon become unstoppable again.
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