Thursday, September 2, 2010
PAYBACK TIME by Carl Deuker
Dan "Mitch" True sees his school newspaper as his ticket to a career in journalism someday. He has his sights set on leaving Seattle and heading to college in New York City. What better place to find, write, and report the news of the world! There is only one problem. How is he supposed to become a top-notch journalist when he's being assigned to write the sports column?
Mitch can't believe it when Alyssa is chosen as editor for the paper. He was sure he would get the job. To make matters worse, she tells him he will be writing all the sports stories. It should be obvious to anyone observant enough to notice his overweight, out of shape body that sports are not a priority for Mitch. The only thing Alyssa says to encourage him is that at least people will read his stories since the sports section is really the only part of the paper anyone reads.
Mitch heads off to the first football game with Kimi, the staff photographer. They both focus on the team's star player, the quarterback Horst Diamond. His talent looks like the only hope for an interesting season, that is until Mitch and Kimi notice Angel Marichal.
Coach McNulty doesn't seem the least bit interested in Angel. Even though Mitch watches the kid throw practice passes on the sidelines that would make an NFL player jealous, the coach shrugs away any suggestions that Angel should be given more playing time.
Mitch begins to suspect something is going on when he writes about this new player's amazing potential only to have those sections of his stories removed before they appear in the paper. When he points this out to Kimi, she agrees that perhaps they should do a bit of investigative journalism. They work together to uncover the mystery of Angel Marichal. Is the coach using Angel to cheat his way into a championship position, or is there something else illegal going on?
Author Carl Deuker uses his expertise as a sports fiction writer to entertain teen readers with some great football action as well as an intriguing mystery. Readers will follow this high school football team's winning season and at the same time witness Deuker's characters as they encounter slashed tires, gang threats, and physical violence. In an incredible combination of action and adventure, PAYBACK TIME is sure to be a satisfying read.