On My Bookshelf: QB 1 by Mike Lupica

August 14, 2017

In QB 1 by Mike Lupica, Jake Cullen is following in the footsteps of his older brother and his father as a freshman quarterback on his high school football team. Constantly struggling to fill their shoes, Jake must prove that his talent makes him worthy of a starting position, not his last name. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: From #1 New York Times bestselling author of TRAVEL TEAM, HEAT, and MILLION-DOLLAR THROW comes a cheer-worthy, family-friendly football novel set amid the Friday Night Lights world of Texas high school football.

Jake Cullen is a freshman quarterback playing high school football in Texas, the high-pressure land of Friday Night Lights. He is also the brother of Wyatt Cullen, who quarterbacked his team to the Texas State Championship last season--not to mention the son of former NFL quarterback and local legend, Troy Cullen. To be a Cullen in Texas is to be football royalty . . . which leaves 14-year-old Jake in a Texas-sized shadow. Being a good teammate comes naturally to Jake; being a winner and a celebrity does not. Jake may be a Cullen, and he may play quarterback, but he is not his brother or his father. He's just like every other kid: fighting for every ounce of respect, awkward around a pretty girl, in awe of his famous family, and desperate to simultaneously blend in and cast his own shadow. Inspired by the real-life Manning family of quarterbacks and set amid the football-crazy culture of Texas, QB 1 is a coming-of-age story perfect for the fan of MILLION-DOLLAR THROW and HEAT.

In QB 1 by Mike Lupica, Jake Cullen is following in the footsteps of his older brother and his father as a freshman quarterback on his high school football team. Constantly struggling to fill their shoes, Jake must prove that his talent makes him worthy of a starting position, not his last name. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
Why I liked it: QB 1 is the first Mike Lupica book I've read. I picked it up as part of my constant effort to expand my repertoire of "boy books" I can recommend. I was pleasantly surprised. While the book was focused on the main character's struggle to find his place on the high school football team now that he was a freshman, it was just as much about the relationships between brothers, fathers and sons, and friends. There were a few spots in the book that was a little heavy on football terminology or descriptions of plays, but for the most part as someone who knows very little about the sport, the book was still digestable and enjoyable.

Classroom application: This novel is appropriate for middle and high school students, and would be a great recommendation for sports lovers, especially football fans. I think that the book would lead to great discussions about relationships with parents, siblings, and friends. What are the qualities that should be present in each of these types of relationships? How can parents support their children, and siblings and friends support each other?

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of QB 1 for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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