Are you a football fan? Do you play football? Do you have sons or grandsons who play football? Or maybe you just happen to like football stories like Friday Night Lights, or stories about siblings and families. If any of this is true, then QB1 hits the mark.
Mike Lupica knows how to tell a nice story and QB1 is a feel-good read that is geared towards the middle school or early high school reader. Two Texas quarterback brothers, four years apart and sons to a famous quarterback whose NFL career was cut short, Wyatt and Jake Cullen have different challenges. Wyatt is a freshman quarterback for the Texas Longhorns and is living his father’s dream. Younger brother Jake has lived in Wyatt’s shadow for as long as he can remember. The story begins when Jake enters ninth grade as the third-string quarterback, for a coach and team that are still celebrating big brother Wyatt’s leadership the season before.
Plenty of play-by-play descriptions of the Granger Cowboys’ games frame the real story of player conflicts, growing up, family relationships and a little bit of romance. There are many references to the Manning family, whose real-life quarterback phenomenon inspired Lupica to write QB1. This story is modern in every sense, with up-to-the minute references to college football, the NFL and famous players and I think this is what kids like to read. Lupica also touches on the very current debate about player concussions, but does so without preaching.
I didn’t have too much trouble following the game descriptions, but it helps to have some knowledge of football. Since the book is specifically targeting boys who like football, I think this part of the book is one of its strengths. I also think that’s how boys think and that’s what they like to read. I liked the father/son dynamics the best and think Lupica provides a good look into how these characters relate to one another.
I hope some of my kids read this book. I’m leaving it on our coffee table to see what happens!
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