Synopses & Reviews
The Hidden Valley Eagles are on track to make the playoffs. Full of focus and determination, every player is at his best, and the team is working better together than ever before. But when a bout of the chicken pox threatens to overtake the team, will their playoff dreams disappear?
Tiki and Ronde are eighth graders hoping for a run to the state championships. However, football fever has hit Hidden Valley Junior High Schooland#8212;literally, in the form of chicken poxand#8212;and when players start coming down with the pox, Tiki and Ronde fear the worst: If they get sick, what will the team do without its best athletes? Along with the usual sports messages of teamwork, hard work, keeping the faith, dreams and picking yourself up when you donand#8217;t succeed, the novel adds didacticism and narcissism to the mix. Still, lots of football action, an exuberant use of exclamation points and a plot that runs like a footrace for the end zone will keep credulous young readers flying through the pages.
In the fourth book of the football series that began with andlt;iandgt;Kickoffandlt;/iandgt; (2007), the Eagles junior-high team andlt;BRandgt; struggles through the playoffs as the players battle their communityand#8217;s high expectations as well as chicken pox. Twins Tiki and Ronde each miss a game, but team members step up when the Eagles take the field, eventually playing in the state championship. Like the earlier books, this one emphasizes good values and teamwork on and off the field, but readers who come to the book looking for play-by-play football action will find plenty here, beginning with Kadir Nelsonand#8217;s cover illustration.
Finally the playoffs are in sight and everyone is playing at the top of their game. But what are these red spots that seem to be going around? Chicken pox? It can't be!
About the Author
is a record-holding retired running back for the New York Giants and a three time Pro Bowl selection. He lives in New York state. Ronde Barber
is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL and wears number 20 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ronde is a Super Bowl winner, a five time Pro Bowl selection, and the first cornerback in the history of the league to have at least 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in a career.
He lives in Florida with his wife, Claudia, and their daughters.
Paul Mantell is the author of many books for children, including books in the Matt Christopher series.