When Marcus moves to a new town in the dead of summer, he doesn't know a soul. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older man. Charlie is a charismatic pranksterand the best football player Marcus has ever seen. He can't believe his good luck when he finds out that Charlie is actually Charlie Popovich, or "the King of Pop," as he had been nicknamed during his career as an NFL linebacker. But that's not all. There is a secret about Charlie that his family is desperate to hide.
When Marcus begins school, he meets the starting quarterback on the team: Troy Popovich. Right from the beginning, Marcus and Troy disagreeabout football, about Troy's ex-girlfriend, Alyssa, but most of all about what's good for Charlie. Marcus is betting that he knows what's best for the King of Pop. And he is willing to risk everything to help his friend.
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"[R]eaders will be sucked into compelling story lines on complicated family situations, peer acceptance, the game of football, and the effects of progressive Alzheimer's disease on the persons involved, their families, and friendsthemes that flow seamlessly together." - VOYA
"Starred Review. The football scenes are riveting, but the poignant human drama more than holds its own. Ages 12+." - Kirkus Reviews
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Gordon Korman has written more than fifty middle-grade and teen novels. Favorites include the New York Times #1 bestseller The 39 Clues: One False Note, The Juvie Three, Son of the Mob, Born to Rock, and Schooled. Though he didn't play football in high school, Gordon's been a lifelong fan and season ticket holder. He says, "I've always been fascinated by the culture of collision' in football and wanted to explore itnot just from the highlight films but from its darker side as well." Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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