81 pages 2 hours read

Tommy Greenwald

Game Changer

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2018

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Game Changer

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade contemporary
  • Originally Published: 2018
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 750L; grades 5-9
  • Structure/Length: 286 pages; approx. 3 hours, 45 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Promising running back Teddy Youngblood, 13, suffers a life-threatening head injury after a hard hit during a meaningless scrimmage game on the last day of high school football training camp. While Teddy lies in a coma in the hospital, the implications of the injury grow more alarming when social media posts begin to suggest the hit was not an accident at all but part of football camp hazing.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Cliques; peer pressure

Tommy Greenwald, Author

  • Bio: Born 1962; playwright, children’s book author, and creative head of an advertising firm specializing in promoting off-Broadway productions; lives in Connecticut with his wife, three sons, and two dogs
  • Other Works: John & Jen off-Broadway musical (coauthor; 1995); Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading (2011); Rivals (2021); Dinged (2022)
  • Awards: Amazon Best Book of the Month; Junior Library Guide Premiere Selection

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Definition of Manhood
  • Handling the Burden of Guilt
  • The Power and Influence of Groupthink

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain insight into the cultural and social benefits of organized athletics as well as its dangers and risks as they apply to characters in Game Changer.