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Million-Dollar Throw


Million-Dollar Throw

For Nate Brodie, there’s nothing else quite like the sport of football. The 13-year-old from Valley, Massachusetts is a huge fan of the New England Patriots, his favorite player being star quarterback Tom Brady. Brodie (aka “Brady,” as his family and friends call him) is the starting QB for the Valley Patriots, and is known as “the boy with the golden arm” for his fantastic throws and great sportsmanship. But football is more than just a game for Nate; it’s a chance to get away from the daily grind of school and hang out with his friends.

However, football has now taken on a more important meaning. Shortly after his 13th birthday, Nate, his mom, and his best friend Abby McCall make a trip to SportStuff, where Nate is finally able to buy the limited edition autographed Brady football for which he’s been saving up. It’s there where he learns about the contest “The SportStuff Million-Dollar Throw”:

“The winner of the contest was going to get the chance to make one throw --- from thirty yards away through a twenty-inch hole --- at halftime of the Patriots Thanksgiving night game against the Colts.”

It’s a one-in-a-million chance, but Nate wins the contest and a shot at the big money. While excited about getting the opportunity to go to Gillette Stadium, he knows that this is the most important play of his life. If he wins, the million dollars could definitely help his family: his dad has had to work two jobs after he was laid off at his old real estate company, and his mom works at a gift shop and volunteers at the hospital. In addition, they have had to put their house up for sale, the only home Nate has ever known.

To add to Nate’s worries, his best friend has her own troubles. Abby, a talented artist who creates vivid, colorful paintings, has a form of retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that causes complete blindness. Nate wants the best for her and tries to continue to be optimistic, the same way she is for him even as her own world begins to darken. Could Abby benefit more from this money? And if so, what about his family’s woes?

As Nate deals with these difficult changes and as Thanksgiving night creeps closer, the pressure to make the million-dollar throw begins to affect him on the field, and he wonders if he will be able to achieve his goal of winning not just one but two championships.

Featuring some great game play and cool sports references, MILLION-DOLLAR THROW is a wonderful, heartfelt story about the strength of friendship and family that can be enjoyed even by those who are not football fans. Mike Lupica scores a touchdown with his latest winning novel.

Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on November 3, 2009

Million-Dollar Throw
by Mike Lupica

  • Publication Date: November 16, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin
  • ISBN-10: 0142415588
  • ISBN-13: 9780142415580