Top Prospect

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 9
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Travis Gardner lives to play quarterback.

He’s a standout QB by 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.

“Travis’ love for the game . . . seems absolutely authentic. This engaging read will resonate with middle schoolers, especially aspiring athletes.”—Booklist

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 9
Reading Level Grade 4
Category SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning, Sports
Copyright 2016
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 280
Publication Date 2016-09-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.6
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV032030, JUV035000, JUV039020
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Lexile 760
Guided Reading Level X
ATOS Reading Level 5.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 182601
Accelerated Reader® Points 8.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed

Author: Paul Volponi

Paul Volponi is an award-winning author who lives in Queens, New York. He holds an MA in American Literature and regularly makes school visits and holds Skype conferences.

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  • Rhode Island Middle School Book Award Nominee, Short-listed, 2019
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Winner, 2018
  • Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee, Nominated, 2017
  • Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Nominee, Nominated, 2017



“Travis’ love for the game . . . seems absolutely authentic. This engaging read will resonate with middle schoolers, especially aspiring athletes.”—Booklist

School Library Journal

“Purchase where there is a high interest in football and where books for reluctant readers are needed.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“With an astute sense of his audience, Volponi in the end returns readers to the love of the game that should be the heart of any athlete who wants to succeed in playing at the highest level. Absorbing . . . .”—Kirkus Reviews