Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pop by Gordon Korman

Marcus has just moved to a new town in the middle of summer, where he knows no one. He spends the summer working out and honing his quarterback skills alone in Three Alarm Park, in hopes that he can make the varsity football team at his new school. His summer takes an unexpected twist when Marcus is joined at his workouts by a man with mad football skills. He soon discovers that his workout buddy is famed NFL linebacker, Charlie Popovich - the "King of Pop," and that Charlie's family is desperately trying to hide a secret about him from the rest of the world.

While at first glance one may think this is just another football book, in actuality it's much more. While plenty of action takes place on the football field, plenty more takes place away from it. The reader gets hints of the difficult relationship between Marcus and his dad, and can infer some of the turmoil of the recent past. There's a fabulous undercurrent of rivalry and jealousy between Marcus and Troy, the star QB for the team and Charlie's son, over football, a girl, and Charlie, that creates a great deal of tension and conflict during the story. Not to mention the central conflict surrounding Charlie's secret and what it adds to the drama.

The reader will laugh, cheer, and cry right along with the characters in Pop and enjoy every minute of this roller coaster ride. I give it a 'B.'

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