Football Genius

Football Genius

A Novel

Streaming Audiobook - 2008
Average Rating:
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Troy White has a secret talent: the ability to watch several football plays then predict what each team will do next. His mom, Tessa, knows his secret, but doesn't take it seriously. Nobody does, until Tessa gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons and Troy convinces star wide-receiver Seth Halloway to take a chance on letting him help change the fate of his losing team.
Publisher: [United States] : Full Cast Audio : Made available through hoopla, 2008
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781934180716
1934180718
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (5hr., 15 min.)) : digital

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JCLChrisK Aug 14, 2013

This has been a very popular book (and series) in my library, particularly with young guys who are into sports, and for good reason. It's a story of empowered youth overcoming the odds and the prejudices of adults to prove they are capable and worthy of respect. And, unlike many similar books, the adults aren't all doofuses--even the "bad guy"--but are portrayed as layered, complex, and realistic; they're just uniformly flawed in their very normal perspective that kids aren't as capable as adults. So it's up to the kids to prove them wrong. The kids are equally three-dimensional--even the hero is far from perfect--and relationships, both peer and parental, are complex. There are numerous obstacles, a mix of successes and failures, and suspense aplenty. Oh, and it's all about football. It's a winning formula.
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My rating might have been higher except it very much is a formula book that manipulates emotions and contains no surprises; nothing wrong with that because it's very appealing, but it's not great literature. More importantly, I was left feeling uneasy about a subtle sexist misogyny I sensed. Even though Troy's single mom and best friend are very strong female characters that are rightfully respected by everyone they encounter, there's still an underlying sense that they are still not quite equal to the men. And though Troy knows he's being disrespectful and immoral, there's ultimately an endorsement of the way he lies to his mom and breaks her rules to achieve his victory, as though she just doesn't "get it" enough to understand the importance of Troy's football gifts. She loves him, but she's still an obstacle to overcome, and though the connection was never made I felt part of the reason she was an obstacle was due to her inherent female nature.

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