Travis Gardner lives to play quarterback. He's a standout QB by the middle school, and he's prepared to put everything he has into the game. Then Gainesville University's head coach makes Travis a promise: Travis will have a place on the team, and a scholarship to go with it. He just has to get through high school first. As Travis starts ninth grade, he'll have to earn his teammates' trust and dodge opponents aiming to sack the star quarterback. But his biggest challenge might be staying focused in the face of sudden fame. Because now the pressure is on, and Travis has to prove himself with every pass.
Watching Travis go from a middle school student with great promise but a naive view of the world to a high school varsity player who has seen too much grief and corruption is interesting-- most middle grade books don't cover a span of years, so we don't see this much character development. Carter is an interesting character as well, and I was glad to see an overshadowed older sibling portrayed. Supporting characters are also well-developed and sympathetic, but my favorites were some of the villains of the story... who didn't quite believe that they WERE villains.
Recommend this to fans of this author's teen novels Black and White and The Final Four as well as readers who like the combination of sports and real life issues offered by Carl Deuker, Chris Lynch and Chris Crutcher.