Synopses & Reviews
From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw comes a story of every football kids dream come true.
12-year-old Charlie is a fantasy football guru. He may be just a bench warmer for his school's football team, but when it comes to knowing and loving the game, he's first-string. He even becomes a celebrity when his podcast gets noticed by a sports radio host, who plays Charlie's fantasy picks for all of Los Angeles to hear. Soon Charlie befriends the elderly owner of the L.A. Bulldogs -- a fictional NFL team -- and convinces him to take a chance on an aging quarterback. After that, watch out . . . it's press conferences and national fame as Charlie becomes a media curiosity and source of conflict for the Bulldogs general manager, whose job Charlie seems to have taken. It's all a bit much for a kid just trying to stay on top of his grades and maintain his friendship with his verbal sparring partner, Anna.
Like the best Disney film in book form, like Moneyball for kids, Fantasy League is every football kid's dream scenario.
Praise for FANTASY LEAGUE:
* "This Moneyball story with kids is on the money."Booklist, starred review
"The feel good book of the year."VOYA
Readers will be alternately cheering and reaching for a tissue during the final playoff-deciding game for the Bulldogs. This will be devoured by young football fans.”School Library Journal
“Appealing...the effortless commingling of real players with fictional characters should keep middle-graders engrossed.” Bulletin of the Center for Children & #8217;s Books
“Green makes Troy a winning hero, and he ties everything together with a fast-moving plot.” ALA Booklist
“...will appeal to all young football fans with its authentic football action and determined young hero.” KLIATT
“Non-sports fans will root for underdog Troy...and enthusiasts will thrill to the first-hand knowledge Green brings” Publishers Weekly
“A first purchase for libraries looking to bolster their sports fiction.” School Library Journal
Praise for FANTASY LEAGUE:
* "This Moneyball story with kids is on the money."-Booklist, starred review
"Fantasy League . . . is the feel good book of the year."-VOYA
"This will be devoured by young football fans, who appreciate intricate game details and wont mind a touch of heartwarming sentiment."-School Library Journal
LUPICA, Mike. Fantasy League. 304p. Philomel. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99.
Gr 5 Up- Charlie “The Brain” Gaines may be an average seventh grader in most respects, but he possesses an uncanny knowledge about football teams and a sixth sense about game strategy. A so-so linebacker for his own Pop Warner team, the Culver City Cardinals, Charlie would much rather be on the sidelines, calling plays along with the coach. Best friend Anna Bretton shares Charlies passion for football, as it is in her blood—her grandfather and uncle own and manage the Los Angeles Bulldogs. She invites Charlie to meet Grandpa Joe and Uncle Matt at a game, and it isnt long before Gramps is captivated by Charlies commentary. His advice to replace the quarterback with an older and relatively unknown player named Tom Pinkett helps to turn around their losing record. Signing Pinkett to the team turns out to be a winning idea, and when word gets out that the call was made by a 12-year-old, Charlie is hounded by the media and thrust into a spotlight he isnt sure how to handle. Nearly losing his friendship with Anna, Charlie learns a lesson about fame and valuing relationships. Tension soars when Joe Warren falls ill, and readers will be alternately cheering and reaching for a tissue during the final playoff-deciding game for the Bulldogs. This will be devoured by young football fans, who appreciate intricate game details and wont mind a touch of heartwarming sentiment.--School Library Journal
Usually a football book is about whether or not the kid makes the team—and the problems that follow. So its refreshing that those issues are only a part of 12-year-old Charlie Gains story. See, Charlie is known as the Brain, because he is a football stats genius. He understands which players should be playing where and why. This makes him great at fantasy football; then reality comes center stage. His best friend, Anna, is the granddaughter of Joe Warren, the man who has brought NFL football back to Los Angeles. But the team, the Bulldogs, havent done much, and Joes son, the GM, is being blamed. Enter Charlie, who loves the team and soon comes to love Joe Warren as the father and grandfather he never had. Charlie shares his massive football knowledge with Joe, and soon players are being recruited at Charlies suggestion. Couple this with the fact Anna has turned Charlie into something of a podcast celebrity, and suddenly Charlie is catnip for the media. Thats great until things start to go wrong. Theres a lot of football here: pro and fantasy teams and Charlies own Pop Warner career. Veteran sportswriter Lupica handles it all very well. However, its the heart and depth he adds to the story depicting Charlies relationships with a sterling cast of characters that make this unique. This Moneyball story with kids is on the money.
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Lupica, Mike. Fantasy League. Philomel/Penguin, 2014. 304p. $17.99. 978-0-399-25607-3.
Twelve-year-old Charlie Gaines, nicknamed the “Brain,” knows everything about football. He watches the games, studies the stats, and sees things professionals seem to miss. His best friend, Annas, grandfather, Joe Warren, owns the L.A. Bulldogs, an expansion team with a history of losing. Anna knows almost as much about football as Charlie and they love watching games and talking football, especially how they would turn the Bulldogs around. At Annas urging Charlie suggests to Warren that he draft an older quarterback who will probably be dropped by his current team. He is astonished when Warren takes this advice. Word gets out that Warren is taking suggestions from a twelve-year-old and both Charlie and Warren take considerable grief from the media. When Warren acts a second time on Charlies advice, the media has a field day. Will these choices prove positive for the Bulldogs? Throughout this, Charlie is also player/assistant coach in a Pop Warner league, not confident that he is talented enough.
Fantasy League by Lupica is the feel good book of the year. Charlie and Anna are truly best friends. It is heartwarming to see a friendship develop between septuagenarian Warren and Charlie, whose father left when he was young. Warren becomes friend/father/grandfather rolled into one. Lupica touches on family, illness, self-confidence, and more in an easy-reading, enjoyable way. While the plot is predictable, the action and characters make Fantasy League a fun read. Primarily geared to boys, female sports fans might enjoy this as well.—Ed Goldberg.
Troy White has a phenomenal gift. He can predict football plays before they happen. Any position. Any player. Any team.
When Troy's single mom gets a job working in public relations for the Atlanta Falcons, Troy figures it's his chance to prove what he can do. But first he has to get to the Falcons—and with tight security and a notoriously mean coach, even his mom's field passes aren't much help.
Then Troy and his best friends devise a plan to get the attention of star linebacker Seth Halloway. With Seth's playing and Troy's genius, the Falcons could be unstoppable—if they'll only listen.
Bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green scores a touchdown with this exhilarating novel, his first for young readers. Football Genius is an action-packed adventure with gripping suspense, a hero you can really root for, and an insider's look at the world of professional football.
Twelve-year-old Troy White has a gift: he can predict any football play before it happens. When his mom gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons, Troy is determined to prove just how much the team needs him on board, in this gripping story written by former star linebacker Green.
About the Author
Tim Green played Little League baseball for many years before specializing in football. After graduating as covaledictorian from Syracuse University, he was a first-round draft pick and played as a star defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons for eight years. He earned his law degree with honors and has worked as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports and an NFL commentator for NPR.
When his sons began to play baseball, Tim drew on his early love of the game to coach their teams. His exciting books for young readers include the New York Times bestselling Unstoppable, Baseball Great, Rivals, and Best of the Best. He has also written the novels Football Genius, Football Champ, and The Big Time, starring Troy White, and Football Hero, starring Ty Lewis. Troy and Ty meet in Tim's exciting Football Genius novel Deep Zone.
Tim Green lives with his wife, Illyssa, and their five children in upstate New York.