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Game Changers [Hardcover]

Mike Lupica

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Book Description

May 8 2012 Game Changers (Scholastic) (Book 1)
New York Times bestselling author Mike Lupica scores a touchdown with his new middle-grade sports series!

Ben McBain is every football team's dream player. He's a jack-of-all-trades guy who can handle almost any position. When the game is on the line, Ben's number is the one being called for the final play. But Ben wants to be the starting quarterback, and the one thing standing in his way is the coach's son.

Shawn O'Brien looks the part. He has been groomed by his father, a former professional quarterback. But despite his size and arm strength, Shawn is struggling.

Ben is torn between being a good teammate and going after his own dream. As Ben finds out, Shawn isn't the easiest person to help. And when Ben gets an unexpected opportunity, the entire game will change for the both of them.

Bestselling author Mike Lupica kicks off a winning new series about sports and friendship that will captivate readers.


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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: 21.3 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #317,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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 www.mikelupicasbooks.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  107 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knows Football Nov. 29 2012
By Scott William Foley - Published on Amazon.com
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
4.0 out of 5 stars My nephew loved it! Oct. 18 2012
By Anna - Published on Amazon.com
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Choice for Reluctant to Read Boys Oct. 12 2012
By L. Courtney - Published on Amazon.com
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written Sports Book for Pre-Teen and Early Teen Boys Nov. 20 2012
By Ms Winston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I think this looks like the start of an exceptional series for boys up to about age 13, although in my experience most kids in that age group tend to want to read about children slightly older than themselves. My 17 year old grandson, who is, like the rest of the family, a football fanatic, had no interest in the book due to the main characters being only 11 years old. And, I have to admit, the age of the characters rather surprised me, as this book could easily have been translated to JV football level, which would only enhance its appeal to a larger age group. The author, Mike Lupica, knows the game and seems to understand boys of the age group covered in the book -- there is no "mushy love-stuff," even though there is a female character. I have to admit to a prejudice against books that try to promote "romances" between children and I found having a genuine friendship between the sexes very refreshing.

The basic plot outline is the friendship between two young players -- Ben McBain and Shawn O'Brien. Ben is a natural football player, who understands the game intellectually and has the physical prowess to play almost any position. He wants to fullfill every football - loving young boy's dream, however -- he wants to be the quarterback, only he is much smaller than most boys his age that play that coveted position. Shawn is the son of the coach, who was a professional player and a quarterback. The problem is that Shawn doesn't have Ben's instincts and is struggling. He asks Ben for help in improving his game, and Ben wants to help while at the same time wanting to fulfill his own dream of the being the team's QB. The boys are presented pretty realistically and are for the most part appealing. Ben could have come off as somewhat of a goody-goody but due to the skill of the author just seems very human. And Shawn does as well, having the burden of being the son of the coach who also happens to be a famous player. I highly recommend this book as a gift to boys who are interested in football or other sports.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really, 4.5 stars Nov. 13 2012
By H. A Truett - Published on Amazon.com
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.

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