Having main characters of middle grade fiction books be high school students is brilliant, and I wish there were more of these. Bowen's books are always full of plays, strategies, and other football details that I absolutely don't understand, which makes them perfect for my sports obsessed boys. I really liked how Tim tried football, decided it just wasn't for him, and was allowed to chose another path without a lot of preaching one way or the other. There is so much conversation about concussion right now, so Tim's concerns about getting injured are very valid.
The historical notes are always interesting as well.
Fans of Matt Christopher, Rich Wallace, Mike Lupica and Tim Green will love these quick titles. Bowen manages to have great plots, well developed characters, and lots of sports information, all in under 150 pages. I love the variety of sports he covers, and using both football and running in one book makes me think of one of my favorite books, Leon McClinton's 1974 Cross-Country Runner.