Monday, June 4, 2018

Middle Grade Monday and Arc Review: Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald

Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald. 292 p. Amulet Books/ Abrams, September 11, 2018. 9781419731433. (Review from arc courtesy of publisher.)

Thirteen-year-old Teddy lives for football. Now he may be dying for it. He collapsed as he left the field after a brutally hot day at pre-season football conditioning camp with the high school team. Doctors frantically try to stabilize Teddy. Divorced parents are freaking out and unsuccessfully avoiding the blame game. Authorities try to piece together the events. All this happens as he lies in a coma in the ICU. This multiple viewpoint novel is told in dialogue, text messages, a website message board, transcripts of interviews and Teddy's own inner monologue. 

This is a quick and compelling read regardless of where you might stand as a fan or non-fan of football. Greenwald does a spectacular job of creating confusion and anxiety with the rapid shifts in POV as well as the shifting formats. It all works well to keep the reader unbalanced and scrambling to make sense. The fractured "sentences" and almost stream-of-consciousness "dialogue" of parents, relatives and friends felt very realistic. It isn't easy talking to someone who's in a coma, especially when you're reeling from the fact that a loved one is grievously injured. 

My only quibble (as an adult with a nursing background) is with the medical team who let this circus unfold at Teddy's bedside in the ICU. This is dramatic license; there wouldn't be much of a book without it and your readers won't notice this at all. I think my students will be all over this one. Hand this to almost any reader, not just football fans or "reluctant" readers. Between the fabulous cover and the unique format, Game Changer should have broad appeal and is a fabulous addition to any library.


  1. Absolutely put it in your store!! Movement always helps my students and this is so adaptable to all subject areas. Almost like scoot in a bag! I love it!!!Play now to game 123 games and run 3 cool math games, game freecell 123

  2. Far Cry 5 is another improvement to a series that hit its stride quite a long time ago. It gets a recommendation not because of any of its individual features, but because they all combine together into a game that becomes paradoxically funny and horrifying, occasionally at the same time. It depicts a part of America lovingly with its tongue very firmly glued to its cheek, but when I close my eyes, I still see Joseph Seed staring back at me.
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