Ty Lewis’s big brother, Thane “Tiger” Lewis, has graduated from college and has been drafted into the pro leagues by the New York Jets. That couldn’t be better news for young Ty because he lives in New Jersey with a disagreeable uncle, but now he gets to see Thane every week. They have gotten even closer since their parents died six months earlier in a car accident. Now Thane is giving everything he has to his little brother. They need each other in more ways than one.
Former NFL player Tim Green brings a fresh voice of realism to this follow-up to FOOTBALL GENIUS with gritty descriptions of football plays, accurate accounts of life in the big leagues and some not-so-pretty visions of the seedy world of gambling that surrounds professional sports. Young Ty is unwittingly dragged into this negative underworld by his greedy Uncle Gus, who pressures Ty into getting inside information on the Jets. Gus, who makes Ty work nights after school in his cleaning business, gives the information to his bookie, “Lucy.”
In spite of the gritty subject matter, Green writes with an authentic voice tinted with poetic nuances. Readers unfamiliar with or perhaps uninterested in the world of football will appreciate his use of language. Green employs metaphors and picturesque descriptions to keep the reader glued to the story. He is a master of tension as turning pages happens quickly; his audience craves the next scene and chapter until arriving at the appealing conclusion, where the message is brought home loud and clear: Team is everything and brothers take care of brothers, but family is of the utmost importance.
An example of Green’s vivid writing is in the details and images he uses to color the reader’s mind throughout the book.
“He yanked several paper towels off the roll on the wall and handed them to her. She plastered them to the long red gash across her palm and the blood bloomed like a rose in a science movie. Charlotte sucked air in through her teeth with a hissing sound that reminded Ty of filling his bicycle tires at the gas station.”
Green’s artful writing makes words like “plastered,” “gash,” “blood,” “rose” and “hissing” seem as if they’ve always belonged in the same sentences.
For gridiron fans, FOOTBALL HERO has the whole team: practice, locker rooms, rivalries, gambling, fantasy football, injuries, games, deceit and strategy. The fantasy turns into cold, hard reality when the FBI investigates the gambling ring to which Uncle Gus is supplying information. Ty and Thane soon realize that family is important, but the brotherhood of football plays is a pretty close second.
Reviewed by Joy Held on April 22, 2008
- Publication Date: April 22, 2008
- Genres: Fiction
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- ISBN-10: 0061122742
- ISBN-13: 9780061122743