Realistic Fiction

Middle Grade Football Stories

With the outstanding writing going on in sports fiction, you don’t have to be a guy or play  sports to love some of these books. Trust me. Some of these have edge of your seat action. Any Mike Lupica, Tim Green or John Feinstein book is a crowd pleaser. For younger fans, check out the humorous books in the list.

Serious Football

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica


Nate Brodie is such a great quarterback that his friends call him “Brady,” after Patriot’s QB Tom Brady. Lately the stress is affecting his game. His family is struggling financially and his best friend is going blind. Top that with the chance he has to win a million dollars at the Patriot’s Thanksgiving Day game, and his fear of interception is understandable.

Game Changers by Mike Lupica (series)


Ben is an all-around athlete. He’s a jack of all trades in football, but he wants to be the quarterback. The problem is that the coach’s son is the QB and he’s struggling. Ben, being the great guy he is, tries to help Shawn improve his game, but in the end, Ben is going to make the winning play.

Football Genius by Tim Green (series)


Troy has a secret talent. He can predict plays. With his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, in a losing streak, he knows he can help them. Instead of being thrilled, the defensive coach has him banned from the field. Fortunately, defensive linebacker, Seth Galloway, believes in his ability and devises a plan to get the call past the coach.

The Walk On by John Feinstein


Everyone knows new kid Alex Myers is the best QB on the team. Starting QB Matt Gordon knows it. Head Coach Matthew Gordon knows it. But Coach Gordon is in it for himself, not the team. He will rule with an iron fist and lie if needed to keep his son in the starting position.

Payback Time by Carl Deuker


Mitch is a school reporter looking for something interesting. He finds it when he shows up at football practice and notices a new kid with a killer arm. Both the new kid and the coach downplay his abilities, but he’s always brought in at the end of the game to bring the team back for a win. When the city newspaper edits any mention of the new kid’s stellar plays, Mitch knows something big is going on.

Pop by Gordon Korman


While practicing throws at the local park, Marcus is tackled out of nowhere by a large middle-aged guy. They begin meeting every day for coaching sessions. Then Marcus finds out that Charlie is a former NFL player and the father of the quarterback at his new school. As Charlie’s behavior gets more and more bizarre, Marcus finds out he has Alzheimer’s, possibly from years of head injuries.

Humorous Football

The Rookie Bookie by L. Jon Wertheim


Mitch loves numbers. Mitch loves watching football games. If you put them together you have a get rich quick scheme. Realizing Indiana kids are big football fans, he sets up a betting operation where he can’t lose money. He has good intentions, but he soon learns that gambling is a no-no.

King of the Bench: Control Freak by Steve Moore (series)


Steve is king of the bench in every sport. After benching it in baseball, he’s made it onto the football team as the ball holder for the kicker, an easy position. Steve is convinced that he can control the plays with an old video game controller. When he is forced onto the field, he is desperate for his friend to get his hands on the controller.

Historical Football

Yard War by Taylor Kitchings


Trip Westbrook just wants to play football. It doesn’t matter to him if you’re black or white, if you’re good. Dee is good, but he’s black. It’s 1964 Mississippi and the racism in his neighborhood becomes apparent when he asks Dee to play a game with his friends. His parents initially want to keep the peace, but realize they have to take a stand for what’s right.

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