The Big Game
Then his English teacher catches him cheating on a test. Even though Danny can retake it, he knows there’s no point. He can’t read. And if Danny can’t pass this class, he won’t be eligible to play in the championship game that could unlock his future.
While his resentment rises against the only person willing to help him win off the field, the pressure to succeed begins to weigh heavily on Danny’s shoulders. Danny is being tested on every level now, and to pass, he may very well have to choose a different path from his father’s.
Danny's learning disabilities and the way the school has handled them seem a tiny bit unlikely, but are definitely realistically portrayed. Danny has a lot of coping skills that he has used to squeak by in his classes, and I was able to believe that he could make it into middle school with a very low level of reading comprehension. Ms. Rait's methods of assessing his abilities and remediation attempts are good for young people to understand. The teacher also has a leg brace; this isn't addresses very much, but at one time she does gently remind the boys that "handicapped" is not a term that people use these days.
Like Carl Deuker and Rich Wallace, Tim Green does a great job of providing vivid scenes of football games to help make the more serious scenes more palatable, and crafts a book that has a lot of appeal for both young sports enthusiasts and a thorough explanation of more serious issues for older readers who recommend books.