cover image Out of the Tunnel

Out of the Tunnel

Patrick Jones. Lerner/Darby Creek, $7.95 paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-4677-4471-3

With the kickoff of the Red Zone series, focused on the beloved high school football team in tiny Troy, Ohio, and written at a fourth-grade level, Jones shows that the cult of blind jock worship is still alive and well, but it’s also being challenged by independent-minded student athletes. Even though Brian is a varsity starter, he can’t escape the shadow of his overbearing football legend father, who was part of the school’s championship team years ago. He hesitantly takes part in some ugly, destructive traditions of the Big Six (the inner circle of players) and damages friendships before deciding that self-respect and his love of the game are what’s most important. A vibrant mix of personalities and circumstances among the team members and staff—including the pompous, Vince Lombardi–quoting Coach Z—sets the stage for additional tales of the Trojans’ pivotal season. Simultaneously available: Breakthrough, The Option, and At All Costs. Ages 11–18. (Sept.)