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Game Changers #1: Game Changers Hardcover – May 8 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (May 8 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545381827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545381826
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #730,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Praise for the Game Changers series

"[A]n action-packed look at middle school sports as it explores issues of friendship, problem-solving, and coming-of-age. Sports fans will eat it up." —Kirkus(Game Changers Book 2: Play Makers)

"[E]ngaging . . . Lupica has a great ear for dialogue, and even the minor characters are fully developed. The tone is inspiring without crossing into didactism, and there is plenty of football action throughout." —School Library Journal (Game Changers)

Praise for Mike Lupica

"Lupica's football action engages, and his delineation of the athlete's thought process and emotional highs and lows of competition feels visceral and real." — Kirkus (Million Dollar Throw)

"Lupica is at his best when he puts the reader right in the center of the action." — Booklist (Summer Ball)

About the Author

MIKE LUPICA is a New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers. His New York Daily News column is syndicated nationally. Mr. Lupica lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children. You can visit Mike Lupica at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa005cabc) out of 5 stars 127 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09dc588) out of 5 stars Knows Football Nov. 29 2012
By Scott William Foley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I picked this book up through Vine for my high school classroom. I have several students who love sports, so I figured this would be right up their alley.

Once I began reading the book, I immediately had concerns about the main characters being ten-years-old. Those concerns were put to rest, however, when it became apparent that Lupica wrote them to sound far older. There were many times I felt as though they were college players, not pee-wee league. On the one hand, this bothered me to a certain extent. On the other hand, though, I reminded myself that the book wasn't written for a thirty-five-year-old, it was written fro young adults and children. Bearing this in mind, I think my students will better relate to it because the characters sound older than their dictated age.

I'd always heard Lupica wrote sports well. Now I know this to be true. His terminology is accurate and he achieved authentic pacing in regards to the games played. My athletes will really love that he got those things right.

Finally, I greatly appreciated the positive messages delivered within the book. Lupica makes a point to reinforce the importance of good sportsmanship, team chemistry, doing the right thing, and having loving relationships with family.

Though the dialogue of the characters seemed too sophisticated for the ages, I thought this book overall succeeded on many levels. I've already put it into the hands of a football player in my class and can't wait to get his take on it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09dcf24) out of 5 stars My nephew loved it! Oct. 18 2012
By Anna - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'll start off by saying I am NOT a Lupica fan, but I have to admit he writes a great sports book. My nephew is in Lupica's target audience and he enjoyed the story, and the book is great for young people in the midst of growing out of children's literature.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09dcf78) out of 5 stars Good Choice for Reluctant to Read Boys Oct. 12 2012
By L. Courtney - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
My son, like many other tween boys, would rather do something active than sit to read a book. Mike Lupica books have engaged him and held his interest.

Game Changers revolves around the sport of football. It is not too difficult of a reading level. And the subject matter is sure to appeal to boys (or girls) who enjoy the sport. Mike Lupica writes knowledgeably about the sport. The book is clean and appropriate for the grade level. As is often the case in Mike Lupica books, there is a valuable lesson to be learned. And the story holds the interest of reluctant readers who are sports fans.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09e00b4) out of 5 stars Highly recommended Oct. 17 2012
By Gaby at Starting Fresh blog - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'd come across Heat, one of Mike Lupica's earlier novels purely by chance. I'm not much of a sports fan but the story of this young boy and his older brother trying to get by after the death of their father was about much more than just baseball. Somehow, Lupica wove in the problems facing a young illegal immigrant - the fear, the need to hide and the desire to fit in - into the story of this amazing athlete who has a chance to bring his little league team to victory as long as he isn't outed and deported first. It's hard to explain exactly, but after reading Heat, I started reading as much of Mike Lupica's young adult novels that I could find. Needless to say, I was excited to review his latest young adult novel, Game Changers.

Like Heat, Game Changers introduces us to a hero so likable, that you find yourself in his corner early in the book. Ben McBain is a born quarterback: he loves football, he's understands the game, sees the entire field when he plays, he's quick, he's strong, and he brings his teammates together. Unfortunately, Ben is also much smaller than the usual quarterback, which means that few of the coaches or grownups see him as a natural for that position. Instead of whining about his luck, Ben plays smarter and he works harder than everyone else. Fortunately, he lives right next to a field which he and his three closest friends have dubbed McBain Field for all the hours they've spent there over the years.

The book opens with a new football season starting. Ben McBain is better than ever and he's excited for tryouts. Their new coach O'Brien is a superstar in his own right - he played for the NFL and cares about the kids. Unfortunately for Ben, the coach's son Shawn O'Brien is trying out for quarterback too. Shawn is bigger, stronger, and is a shoe-in for the position.

Invariably, Shawn becomes the starting quarterback. When Shawn plays well, he excels. But in tough times, Shawn gets nervous, he worries too much, and somehow he loses his game. Ben's friends see this as an opportunity for Ben to take over. But Shawn reaches out to Ben for his help and Ben soon finds himself spending his free time helping Shawn become a better quarterback. Shawn's sworn Ben to secrecy about their extra sessions. How much of a good guy does Ben have to be?

When can Ben finally tell his good friends what's going on? And can Ben ever use what he's learned to win the quarterback position for himself?

In Game Changers, Lupica puts Ben McBain through the wringer. Somehow, hard work, decency, and friends make things work out for the team, for Ben and even for Shawn. Game Changers combines football, friendship, loyalty, and a good story. I recommend it!

ISBN-10: 0545381827 - Hardcover $16.99
Publisher: Scholastic Press (May 8, 2012), 224 pages.
Review copy courtesy of Amazon Vine and the publisher.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09dcfb4) out of 5 stars Really, 4.5 stars Nov. 13 2012
By H. A Truett - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
My son loves Mike Lupica's books. We usually listen to them as audio books. However, when this one popped up for review, I requested a copy. We used it as a read aloud, making it part of our homeschool day.Having two boys, I enjoy Lupica's books because they teach me some things about sports and the love of a game, without me getting a headache trying to keep up with the rules.

In this book, Shawn is harder on himself when he messes up than anyone else can be. Instantly, my son identified with Shawn. Once my kid feels he's messed up in a game, the rest of the game is ruined for him. When he relaxes and enjoys what he's doing, he throws strike after strike after strike. People stop to stare as he pitches on his park and rec team. But, like Shawn, when the fun stops, so does his confidence and the good attitude goes right down the drain. Haydn and I paid special attention, due to this similarity, to how the character of Shawn was developed, and I was happy with the eventual growth and humility. I hope it helped my son to see himself on the pages of this story.

My only real complaint from me is a grammar issue. I have not noticed it in any of Lupica's previous novels. The word "said" seemed to be used every line. No one yelled or cried or told or interjected. They all "said." I started skipping the word and just reading the dialogue. Usually, you could tell who was talking without the said. Perhaps this only bothered me as a writer, and other readers may not even notice.

The story was great. We will definitely continue reading Mike Lupica's novels.