Lone Stars

An uplifting story about role models, football, and tackling fear set in the heart of Friday Night Lights country–from the bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team, and Fantasy League.

Clay is a quarterback's dream. When he zips across the field, arms outstretched, waiting for the ball to sail into his hands, there's no denying him the catch. Like most Texans, Clay is never more at home than when playing football. And his coach, a former star player for the Dallas Cowboys, is just like a second father.

But as the football season kicks off, Clay begins to notice some odd behavior from his coach–lapses in his memory and strange mood swings. The conclusion is painful, but obvious: Coach Cooper is showing side effects of the many concussions he sustained during his playing days. As Clay's season wears on, it becomes clear that the real victory will be to help his coach walk onto that famous star logo in the middle of Cowboys Field one last time–during a Thanksgiving day ceremony honoring him and his former Super Bowl-winning teammates.

In Lone Stars, #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica demonstrates once again that there is no children's sports novelist today who can match his ability to weave a story of vivid sports action and heartfelt emotion. A touching story that proves life is bigger than a game.


Praise

"Lupica has crafted another fine sports story for the middle school reader."
VOYA

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Last Man Out

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Fantasy League comes a story of heroes, family, the thrills of skateboarding, and football.

When the Brighton Bears suit up on game day, 12-year-old Tommy Gallagher is the toughest kid on the football field. And the bravest. After all, his father Patrick is a Boston firefighter--one of Boston's bravest. Tommy's dad taught him everything he knows about football--and life.

Yet even Tommy isn't strong enough for what happens when the sirens ring and, for the first time, they're racing away from the fire. "First man in; last man out" had always been his dad's motto . . . yet he never said anything about leaving in an ambulance. What kind of risk had his dad taken? Now Tommy's biggest battle has nothing to do with football. And the kid who always had such respect for risk on the gridiron finds himself drawn to it off the field.

Set in New England, home of the Patriots' football dynasty, Mike Lupica shows off his trademark knack for spinning a tale that's equal parts sports action and heart. Last Man Out is a thoughtful tribute to the bravery of firefighters and the need we all have to live up to the level of our heroes.

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Praise

"[S]hort, action-packed chapters . . . will keep even the most reluctant readers motivated to keep reading. As is characteristic of Lupica's books, the sports segments, most particularly the football portions, are exceptionally well written."
VOYA

"Lupica stirs equal quantities of grief and gridiron action into his latest outing. Lupica effectively puts readers into the center of the action . . . [I]n the best traditionsof sports writing, this will leave readers both breathless and thoughtful."
Booklist

"As is characteristic of Lupica's books, the sports segments, most particularly the football portions, are exceptionally well written."
VOYA

"In the best traditions of sports writing, this will leave readers both breathless and thoughtful."
Booklist

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Fast Break

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw comes a feel-good basketball tale reminiscent ofThe Blind Side.

Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates.

Jayson, at first, is combatative, testing the Lawtons' patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson's new life is so ready to trust him–and even Jayson's old friends give him a hard time now that he's attending a school full of rich kids. It's on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadium–home to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing bigtime college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.

In the tradition of uplifting stories like The Blind Side, Fast Break has all the family-friendly sports action Mike Lupica has become known and loved for.


Praise

"Eager fans will find this a slam-dunk. A must-purchase."
Booklist

"Lupica's announcer-like delivery will have you breathless, on the edge of your seat, cheering."
Florida Times-Union

"Fast Break is the perfect middle-grade read for fans of basketball. With so much attention to detail in each game, readers are practically with the characters on the court....Lupica has done it again."
VOYA

"The dynamics here are handled with subtlety and depth... Lupica delivers solid sports action and character growth."
Kirkus Reviews

"Eager fans will find this a slam-dunk. A must-purchase."
Booklist

Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold
Fantasy League

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Fantasy League comes a story of heroes, family, the thrills of skateboarding, and football.

12-year-old Charlie is a fantasy football guru. He may be just a bench warmer for his school's football team, but when it comes to knowing and loving the game, he's first-string. He even becomes a celebrity when his podcast gets noticed by a sports radio host, who plays Charlie's fantasy picks for all of Los Angeles to hear. Soon Charlie befriends the elderly owner of the L.A. Bulldogs — a fictional NFL team — and convinces him to take a chance on an aging quarterback. After that, watch out... it's press conferences and national fame as Charlie becomes a media curiosity and source of conflict for the Bulldogs general manager, whose job Charlie seems to have taken. It's all a bit much for a kid just trying to stay on top of his grades and maintain his friendship with his verbal sparring partner, Anna.

Like the best Disney film in book form, like Moneyball for kids, Fantasy League is every football kid's dream scenario.


Praise

*"This Moneyball story with kids is on the money."
Booklist, starred review

"Fantasy League . . . is the feel good book of the year."
VOYA

"This will be devoured by young football fans, who appreciate intricate game details and won't mind a touch of heartwarming sentiment."
School Library Journal

"Lupica is the greatest sports writer for middle school readers."
VOYA

Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold
QB 1

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Fantasy League comes a story of heroes, family, the thrills of skateboarding, and football.

Jake Cullen is a freshman quarterback playing high school football in Texas, the high-pressure land of Friday Night Lights. He is also the brother of Wyatt Cullen, who quarterbacked his team to the Texas State Championship last season–not to mention the son of former NFL quarterback and local legend, Troy Cullen. To be a Cullen in Texas is to be football royalty . . . which leaves 14-year-old Jake in a Texas-sized shadow. Being a good teammate comes naturally to Jake; being a winner and a celebrity does not. Jake may be a Cullen, and he may play quarterback, but he is not his brother or his father. He's just like every other kid: fighting for every ounce of respect, awkward around a pretty girl, in awe of his famous family, and desparate to simultaneously blend in and cast his own shadow. Inspired by the real-life Manning family of quarterbacks and set amid the football-crazy culture of Texas, QB 1 is a coming-of-age story perfect for the fan of MILLION-DOLLAR THROW and HEAT.


Praise

"This is a wonderful book by a great writer. All football fathers and sons will enjoy it."
Archie Manning

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True Legend

#1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica makes his return to the basketball court!

There's a reason teammates call him "True." Because for basketball phenom Drew Robinson, there is nothing more true than his talent on the court. It's the kind that comes along once in a generation and is loaded with perks–and with problems. Before long, True buys in to his own hype, much to the chagrin of his mother, who wants to keep her boy's head grounded–and suddenly trouble has a way of finding him. That is, until a washed-up former playground legend steps back onto the court and takes True under his wing.


Praise

*"The perfect trifecta of deep knowledge and portrayal of the history and culture of basketball, keen insight into the obstacle course of motivations and temptations facing a talented young man, and perfect-pitch sports writing. . . Lupica is the greatest sportswriter for middle-grade readers, and this book, True Legend, is a reminder of his dominance."
VOYA, starred review

"Lupica scores another winner with this cautionary tale. . . . Loaded with action-packed, suspenseful basketball sequences, crisp dialogue, sharply drawn characters, and keen insight into contemporary basketball culture in America, Drew's story illuminates the realities and choices facing gifted young athletes."
School Library Journal

"Written in a fluid mix of slightly distant exposition and terse dialogue, the tale features plenty of suspenseful, expertly depicted hoops action along with choices both wrong and, ultimately, right made in the face of glittering temptations."
Booklist

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The Underdogs

New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica tackles football!

Will Tyler may not be the biggest running back around, but no one can touch him when it comes to hitting the hole and finding the end zone. And no one can match his love of the game. When Will has a football in his hand, life can't touch him–his dad isn't so defeated, his town isn't so poor, and everyone has something to cheer for. All of which does him no good if the football season is canceled. With no funding for things like uniforms and a well-maintained playing field, with every other family moving to find jobs, there just isn't enough money or players for a season. It's up to Will to rally the town and give everyone a reason to believe . . .

Read an excerpt

Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold
Hero

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw.

Zach Harriman knew that his dad was something of a hero, a man trusted by the president to solve international crises at a moment's notice. Suddenly people are telling him he has powers – people who know much more about his father than Zach ever did. But there are the Bads, who appear out of nowhere and attack him and his best friend. One thing is clear: he can do things ordinary people cannot. Like fend off grown men as though he possesses the strength of a hundred. Like sense when evil is about to strike. And evil is about to strike in a very big way. Zach Harriman is his father's son. And he, too, is a hero.

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Praise

"Every kid wants to be a superhero. Well, be careful what you wish for – you might get it. This is the amazing story of Zach Harriman and nothing Mike Lupica has written will thrill you like this."
William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride

"Sportswriter and novelist Lupica offers a change of pace from his previous sports stories for younger readers, deftly reworking the traditional superhero origin story into a moving tale of adolescent growth."
Publisher's Weekly

"[T]he stage is set for a sequel to what looks like a surefire hit."
School Library Journal

Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold
The Batboy

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw.

Brian is living every baseball kid's dream: he is a batboy for his hometown Major League team. Brian believes that it's the perfect thing to bring him and his big-leaguer dad closer together. And if that weren't enough, this is the season that Hank Bishop, Brian's baseball hero, returns to the Tigers for the comeback of a lifetime. The summer couldn't get much better! Until Hank Bishop starts to show his true colors, and Brian learns that sometimes life throws you a curveball.

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Praise

"A pennant winner."
Kirkus Reviews

"Lupica. . .giv[es] his readers a behind-the-scenes look at major league sports. In this novel, he adds genuine insights into family dynamics and the emotional state of his hero."
Booklist

"[T]his novel will undoubtedly appeal to those who equate summer with baseball, it should also win over readers who appreciate finely crafted storytelling and engaging characters."
School Library Journal

Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold
Million-Dollar Throw

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw.

Everyone calls Nate Brodie "Brady" because he's a New England quarterback, just like his idol, Tom Brady. And now he's got a chance to win a million dollars by throwing one pass through a target at halftime in the Patriots; Thanksgiving night game. More than anything, Nate's family needs the money–his dad's been downsized, his mom's working two jobs, and they're on the verge of losing their house. The worry is more weight than a 13-year-old can bear, and it's affecting his playing for his own football team. Suddenly the boy with the golden arm is having trouble completing a pass . . . but can he make the one that really counts?

Read an excerpt
Watch the trailer


Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold

The Big Field

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw.

Playing shortstop is a way of life for Hutch–not only is his hero, Derek Jeter, a shortstop, but so was his father, a former local legend turned pro. Which is why having to play second base feels like demotion to second team. Yet that's where Hutch ends up after Darryl "D-Will" Williams, the best shortstop prospect since A-Rod, joins the team. But Hutch is nothing if not a team player, and he's cool with playing in D-Will's shadow–until, that is, the two shortstops in Hutch's life betray him in a way he never could have imagined. With the league championship on the line, just how far is Hutch willing to bend to be a good teammate?

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Praise

"Vivid descriptions of pivotal innings and plays, snappy dialogue, and realistic conflicts propel the characters and the story toward the state finals and a father-son breakthrough. Baseball fans will revel in Lupica's exciting sports commentary and Hutch's competitive spirit and emotional highs and lows."
School Library Journal


Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold

Summer Ball

The sequel to the #1 bestseller Travel Team.

When you're the smallest kid playing a big man's game, the challenges never stop-especially when your name is Danny Walker. Leading your travel team to the national championship may seem like a dream come true, but for Danny, being at the top just means the competition tries that much harder to knock him off. Now Danny's leaving Middletown for the summer and heading to Right Way basketball camp, where he's out of his element and maybe out of his league. The country's best ballers are in attendance, and Danny will need to raise his game if he wants to match up. But it won't be easy. Old rivals and new battles leave Danny wondering if he really has what it takes to stand tall.

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Praise

"Another winner. The story is fast-moving and convincing as it considers the theme of character and how it develops in athletics. Little of the plot is predictable... What is a sure thing is Lupica's ability to write about basketball convincingly and with description to make you feel that you're standing at the edge of an outdoor summer court in Maine."
Columbus Dispatch

"Exceptionally well-written."
The Washington Post

"Another page-turner."
Detroit News and Free Pres


Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold

Miracle on 49th Street

From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw.

Josh Cameron is MVP of the championship Boston Celtics and a media darling with a spotless reputation. He has it all . . . including a daughter he never knew. When twelve-year-old Molly Parker arrives in his life, claiming to be his daughter, she catches him off guard. Molly says her mom, Jen, revealed his identity before losing her battle with cancer. Josh isn?t so sure about this girl–she must be trying to scam him for his money. Still, there's something about Molly that reminds him so much of Jen. But as Molly gets to know the real Josh, the one the camera never sees, she starts to understand why her mother never wanted her to know her dad. Josh has room in his heart for only two things: basketball and himself. Does Molly really want this man for a father? Together, these two strangers learn that sometimes, for things to end up the way you want them to, you have to fire up a prayer at the buzzer and hope it goes in.

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Praise

"Mike Lupica has written a book I would want my four children to read and reread. It's for all kids and their parents and for everyone who loves the game of basketball. It's about everything we tell our children is important: friendship and loyalty and making your dreams come true. This is going to be a book for a lot of Christmases."
Glenn "Doc" Rivers, coach of the Boston Celtics

"Lupica delivers a winning novel, creating a realistic character in Molly by authentically capturing both her fragility and pluck."
Booklist

"A newspaper sports journalist, Mike Lupica not only conveys excitingly the details of whatever sport he has chosen as background – the NBA and the Celtics, in this case – but he also creates characters, preteens and teens who think, behave and, best of all, speak like their peers. Lupica explores families, friendships and fans complexly."
Chicago Tribune


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Heat

The #1 Bestseller!

Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat along with aspirations of leading his team all the way to the Little League World Series. But his firepower is nothing compared to the heat Michael faces in his day-to-day life. Newly orphaned after his father led the family's escape from Cuba, Michael's only family is his seventeen-yearold brother Carlos. If Social Services hears of their situation, they will be separated in the foster-care system–or worse, sent back to Cuba. Together, the boys carry on alone, dodging bills and anyone who asks too many questions. But then someone wonders how a twelve-year-old boy could possibly throw with as much power as Michael Arroyo throws. With no way to prove his age, no birth certificate, and no parent to fight for his cause, Michael's secret world is blown wide open, and he discovers that family can come from the most unexpected sources.

Perfect for any Little Leaguer with dreams of making it big–as well as for fans of Mike Lupica's other New York Times bestsellers Travel Team, The Big Field, The Underdogs, Million-Dollar Throw, and The Game Changers series, this cheer-worthy baseball story shows that when the game knocks you down, champions stand tall.

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Praise
"Mike Lupica has captured an accurate snapshot of a Little League summer. It's often said that Little League is where the dream begins for millions of kids who aspire to wear a big league uniform. Heat vividly and warmly allows all of us who ever had that dream to live it one more time."
Steve Keener, President and CEO, Little League Baseball™ International

"The dialogue crackles, and the rich cast of supporting characters--especially Michael's battery mate, catcher and raconteur Manny--nearly steals the show. Top-notch entertainment."
Kirkus Reviews

"This great summer novel has everything: a poignant family story, baseball play-by-play and even a little romance."
Buffalo News


Available in hardcover and paperback wherever books are sold

Travel Team

The #1 Bestseller!

Twelve-year-old Danny Walker may be the smallest kid on the basketball court—but don't tell him that. Because no one plays with more heart or court sense. But none of that matters when he is cut from his local travel team, the very same team his father led to national prominence as a boy. Danny's father, still smarting from his own troubles, knows Danny isn't the only kid who was cut for the wrong reason, and together, this washed-up former player and a bunch of never-say-die kids prove that the heart simply cannot be measured.

For fans of The Bad News Bears, Hoosiers, the Mighty Ducks, and Mike Lupica's other New York Times bestselling novels Heat, The Underdogs, and Million-Dollar Throw, here is a book that proves that when the game knocks you down, champions stand tall.

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Praise

"In a story every bit as exciting and tear-jerking as any novel or movie in its genre – Hoosiers, Mighty Ducks, The Bad News Bears – Danny gets his chance at glory. Lupica... has the knowledge of the game and the lean prose to make this a taut, realistic story not just about the game but about heart, character, and family. A winner."
Kirkus Reviews

"Lupica . . . sets the scene for on-court action, and delivers play-by-play descriptions . . . that will thrill basketball buffs. Genuinely affecting."
Publishers Weekly



Comeback Kids series

Shoot-out

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

What happens when a star player ends up on the worst team? He either learns to lose or he stops playing the game he loves. These are the choices facing Jake, who has gone from champion to last place, testing his sportsmanship every time his soccer team gets waxed. It is his teammate Kevin who shows Jake that being a good captain means scoring and assisting off the field as much as being the star player on it.

The latest in #1 bestseller Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids novels is a cheer-worthy ode to the one sport played by more kids across the country than any other—in the summer of the next World Cup.


Two-Minute Drill

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade-the golden-armed quarterback of the football team, and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves daily. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but each has a secret that draws them together as friends, and proves that the will to succeed is even more important than raw talent.


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Hot Hand

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

It's simple. All Zach Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and his parents newly separated, somehow everything's become complicated. His brother Ben, the piano prodigy, hardly talks anymore. His mom is always traveling on business. And his dad is always on his case about not being a team player. But when Ben's piano recital falls on the same day as the championship game, it is Zach who teaches his dad the true meaning of being a team player.


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Long Shot

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

Pedro Morales has always been content helping others look great. The epitome of a point guard, he plays the game to set up his teammates—Ned, in particular, the star forward on the receiving end of Pedro's pinpoint passes. Pedro wants to make his father proud, and so he runs for class president. Yet doing so means going one-on-one against Ned, easily the most popular boy in school. And Pedro learns the hard way that being a good teammate doesn't mean that others will return the favor. Now Pedro wants to win more than ever—but this time, it's for himself.

Safe at Home

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

Nick Crandall feels like he doesn't belong anywhere. He never has felt like he belongs, really. He doesn't fit in this new family with his new foster parents, both of whom are professors. They don't know the first thing about sports—and he's not exactly a model student. It's only a matter of time until they realize he's not the right kid for them. And Nick certainly doesn't belong playing varsity baseball. He's only twelve years old! His teammates want a catcher their own age, not some kid. But Nick needs to prove something. He needs to prove that he belongs—to his parents, to his team, and to himself.



 
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