Sunday, January 31, 2010

continuing on...

I've been sidetracked by life and a few good books, but we're back on track going over the 2010 Lone Star list!  Today's pick...Pop by Gordon Korman. 
As you can tell by the cover, Pop is a book about football--and it is phenomenal.  Gordon Korman is a master at the craft of writing, and it is evident in this wonderful book. 

16-year-old Marcus is new to town and practices for upcoming team tryouts in the park by himself until he meets the town eccentric and hometown-boy-made-good, Charlie "Pop" Popovich,  Pop is a former NFL player who meets Marcus in the park and not only plays football with a fearlessness Marcus rarely sees.  It is weird, though, how Pop almost acts like a teenager himself, and comes and goes throughout the town as he pleases, with no seeming rhyme nor reason.  

At football tryouts it is evident that Marcus has made an enemy---unfortunately this enemy also happens to be Charlie's son Troy.  Determined to keep the family secret, Troy is guarded and unfriendly. 

In the end, Marcus learns the truth--that his friend is suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's Disease and that the cause of it is his beloved POP--not only his nickname, but the sound and feel of helmets and bodies crashing into each other on the field.  It is what Charlie, and Marcus too, have lived for.  This leads to some very difficult decisions for Marcus.  What is betrayal of a friend?  What is really in his best interest?  Does his family always get the last word--and do they really know what's best for Pop?

This book is a wonderful and touching story of football and friendship. I highly recommend it!   

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