Being an NFL player was a childhood dream for Tim Green. Today, his dream is to find a cure for ALS, the disease he is tackling along with his team at the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General. Continuing reading Tim’s full patient story here.
Author: Tim Green Review Issue Date: August 15, 2021 Online Publish Date: July 27, 2021 Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins Pages: 304 Price (Hardcover): $16.99 Publication Date: September 14, 2021 ISBN (Hardcover): 978-0-06-248595-3 Section: Children’s
A star 12-year-old quarterback has a championship to win, a developing family tragedy to cope with, and a life-changing decision to make.
Barely disguising the autobiographical elements contained here in the wake of his own diagnosis of ALS, former Atlanta Falcons player Green places his protagonist, Ben Redd, in a football family and on an upstate New York team coached by his dad and two older brothers—all former gridiron stars themselves. Ben’s anticipation as he looks forward to a season that will be capped by a game against archrival Penn Yan battles with his terror as he watches his father’s NFL injuries come home to roost in slurred speech, loss of physical coordination, and, eventually, a frantic trip to the hospital for an emergency tracheotomy. But as Ben’s parents, both iron willed, clash over whether he should be allowed to follow the family career path (and one of his brothers even announces that none of his kids will ever play), the sport’s allure comes through in a series of exciting clashes, with Ben and wonderfully hard-nosed new teammate, Thea Jean, leading the on-field heroics on the way to a last-yard, smash-mouth finale that leaves him dazed and exultant, with a broken finger, a probable concussion…and a choice of futures. Though the cast is mostly male and mostly White, between them, Thea and Ben’s mom add strong female representation.
An intense referendum on football’s dangers and glories.
Sept. 2021. 304p. Harper, $16.99 (9780062485953). Gr. 4–7
Ben, the quarterback of his sixth-grade football team, is looking forward to a special season. His teammates are friends, and his coaches are Ben’s beloved father, who is a retired NFL player, and his two older brothers, former high-school football stars. When Dad tells his sons that he has been diagnosed with ALS, they’re shaken yet confident that he can carry on as usual. But as the season progresses, the disease takes its toll. Mom becomes adamant that Ben should quit football to avoid concussions and possible brain damage. Meanwhile, a girl who joins Ben’s football team meets some initial resistance from fellow players, but she earns their respect with her courage, skills, and tenacity. Green, a writer, attorney, and former NFL player who announced his ALS diagnosis in 2018, based the story on his experiences while coaching his youngest son’s team along with his two older sons. While football fans will enjoy the play-by-play action, the heart of the story lies in its depiction of strong family relationships. A winning sports novel, on and off the field.
Tim talks to Law360’s Adrian Cruz about his NFL career, legal career at Barclay Damon, ALS, being an author and his newest book release, Grand Slam with co-author Derek Jeter.
“I loved reading from an early age. Books were magic to me, and I wanted to make magic…Reading is weightlifting for your brain. Kids who read perform better in every subject. I’ve spoken to kids at over 1,500 schools across the country and I used every dollar of my speaking fees to buy books for underprivileged kids, schools and libraries.”