FOOTBALL HERO by Tim Green
Ty has always looked up to his older brother Thane “Tiger” Lewis, the Syracuse University football star, especially since their parents died. He is almost as excited as Thane himself when the rumors begin circulating that he will be picked by the NY Jets in the draft. When the middle school football coach offers Ty a slot in Spring training, Ty knows Thane will be proud. Unfortunately, Uncle Gus stands in the way. Bitter for being forced to take Ty into his home, Uncle Gus insists that Ty go to work cleaning toilets at a dirty donut shop run by Uncle Gus’s mobster friends. Uncle Gus also has some schemes for how to take advantage of Thane’s newfound fame and money. But in order to dodge Thane’s savvy agent, Uncle Gus needs Ty’s help. Ty realizes that if he helps Uncle Gus, he may have enough leverage to get permission to join the football team—but he will have to balance his loyalty to his brother, his obligation to Uncle Gus, and his own commitment to the game.
An entertaining and exciting sports novel from former Atlanta Falcons Defensive End Tim Green! I picked this up because I am a Jets fan who enjoys reading books written for 11 year old boys. I was not disappointed. Green packs sports action, mafia and crime-related suspense, and a bunch of interesting, complex characters into a fairly short book. Once it got going, I had trouble putting it down. I highly recommend Football Hero to middle grade readers who like sports and/or thrillers.