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The Big Game, by Tim Green, is an entertaining book for kids Grades 2-6. I read this to my son a few years back, and we LOVED it.
It's about Danny, a 7th grader, who has a heavy load of expectations on his shoulders. His dad is a retired pro football player and expects Danny to carry on his legacy. Early in the story, Danny's father has a heart attack and doesn't make it. Struggling with his father's sudden death, Danny is required to meet with his school counselor, and to make matters worse, he must face the new English teacher, Ms. Rait, who caught him cheating on a test. Danny is used to getting special treatment for his not-so-good English grades. After all, he's a football legend in the making. But all that has changed. He gets accused of setting Ms. Rait's house on fire, and everything falls apart. Will Danny get to play in the big game and lead his team to victory? Or will he be forced to choose a different path from his father's?
Although the main character, Danny, is in 7th grade, the content is appropriate for younger readers. It's an excellent book for sports kids!