I will be the first one to admit that I do not know anything about American football. My friends tried to educate me but I am football-dumb. I do know some players because I watch ESPN from time to time especially during tennis season. But I do know that this sport is a very big deal to its players and their fans.
Ty Lewis is the younger brother of NFL player Thane "Tiger" Lewis. As an aspiring football player himself, Ty makes the local 7-on-7 team as a wide receiver. He hopes his exceptional speed and natural talent will help his team win the tournament. Their opponent has Troy White, a very skilled quarterback that makes it seem that his team is unbeatable. Both kids want to win but football is the least of their problems. The mafia has some unfinished business and the boys somehow get in the middle of it.
Even though I know next to nothing about football, I enjoyed this book very much. I mean, the author himself played in the NFL for eight years. It took a while to get the hang of it; it started with a lot of football talk. And I think this is third in a series of books. It is fast paced and it flowed nicely even with short chapters. I like the relationship between Thane and Ty, even with the ten-year age gap between them. Thane seemed like a laid back, nice guy. And Ty, I loved his internal conversations about the stuff that's happening around him. It felt seemed so real. He seemed like a good kid. I didn't care for the other characters that much because there were so little about them. (Maybe in the previous books?)
There were other football game scenes in this book. I'm sure kids who play/know the sport will definitely appreciate those. The action was well-written and easy enough to understand. It was written in simple English. Several familiar names pop up here and there - Brett Favre, Beyonce, Mythbusters. I thought the fauna of the Everglades was scarier than the mafia plot, but that's just me. I also liked the twist in the end that it made me interested in reading Tim Green other books, Football Genius and Football Hero.
Recommendation: Children who like football will like this a lot. Older kids will love the mystery/thriller storyline.