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by Tim Green

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-112274-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Instantly gripping, this fast-paced middle-grade thriller set in the worlds of football and professional gambling, puts its 12-year-old protagonist, Ty Lewis, between a rock and a hard place and then proceeds to squeeze. Ty, whose older brother Thane plays college football, has recently lost his parents and now lives with his crass, angry Uncle Gus, who runs a cleaning service that uses Ty and his cousin as its labor force. Gus also has a gambling problem, and one of his accounts is a bar run by a Mafia operative named “Lucy.” These worlds collide when Thane is drafted into the NFL, and Uncle Gus sees an opportunity to use Ty to get inside information for Lucy’s gambling operation. This, coupled with Ty’s own football challenges, keep the tension level high and the pages flipping furiously. Ty has one, maybe even two, too many obstacles to overcome, and Thane is such a paragon of goodness that it almost defies reality, but these are minor quibbles in a work that is sure to have a great many fans. (Fiction. 8-12)