Quarterback Marcus Jordan has a big problem. The team at his new school had a perfect season last year, so they aren’t interested in some hot shot rookie hitching a ride on their air-tight winning machine. Especially Troy Popovitch, the resident star QB who doesn’t like the way Marcus is eyeing his position–or his flirtatious cheerleader ex. So Marcus begins training extra hard at the local park in a hopeless attempt to win the team’s love, and it’s there he meets Charlie, a fit middle-aged man who not only seems to know his way around a football, but has an bone-shattering tackle technique as well. Even though Charlie is chronically forgetful and often shows up hours after he tells Marcus he will, he helps Marcus step up his game to the point where Coach Barker starts to let his butt off the bench once in a while. Then Marcus discovers that his buddy Charlie is actually Charlie Popovitch, famous retired NFL linebacker–and Troy’s dad. When Marcus tries to talk to Troy about his famous father, Troy goes ballistic and warns Marcus to stay away from him. What is going on with the Popovitch clan? Why won’t Troy acknowledge his well-known parent? And how is it that Charlie seems to know everyone in town, yet sometimes appears lost on his own block? When Marcus finds a unique way to pay back Charlie for all the help he’s given him that will help restore some of Charlie’s former glory, he knows he’s going to get in big trouble with both Troy and the team. But he also knows he’d do anything for the man who taught him how to make his defense go POP. This Superbowl of a sports book is about a lot more than football (although there are some seriously tense on-field scenes). Korman also tackles themes of family, conscience, friendship and loss, scoring a touchdown on all counts. A perfect choice for the crisp, cool days of fall.
Pop by Gordon Korman