Game Day


Ronde and Tiki are a team. They are twins, they are each other's best friends and biggest fans, and they play on the same football team, the Cave Spring Vikings. Ronde is #21 and Tiki is #22, always side by side.
Tiki has had seven long touch-down runs this season, and Ronde is proud of his brother, but he can't help feeling a little down when Tiki gets all the glory. If Ronde hadn't been leading the way with his blocks, Tiki wouldn't have been clear to score. Ronde thinks ...

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Ronde and Tiki are a team. They are twins, they are each other's best friends and biggest fans, and they play on the same football team, the Cave Spring Vikings. Ronde is #21 and Tiki is #22, always side by side.
Tiki has had seven long touch-down runs this season, and Ronde is proud of his brother, but he can't help feeling a little down when Tiki gets all the glory. If Ronde hadn't been leading the way with his blocks, Tiki wouldn't have been clear to score. Ronde thinks nobody notices the guy who blocks; they only notice the guy who scores. Will the day ever come when Ronde will get his chance?
Written by two NFL superstars, this story of perseverance and teamwork will inspire. Barry Root's glowing illustrations bring to life all the excitement and energy of a great game and a team working together.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
NFL stars Tiki and Ronde Barber follow up their successful memoir, By My Brother's Side, with a winning book about gridiron greatness.
Publishers Weekly
Just as football season kicks off, NFL stars and twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber return to the picture-book field with a tale of their formative days in Pee Wee Football League. In the follow-up to this creative team's By My Brother's Side, Ronde, deep down, knows he's a talented player. He repeatedly makes key blocks that enable his brother to break away and run with the ball. But Ronde is tired of being the unsung hero and watching Tiki, the leading scorer, get all the glory. When a mild injury sidelines Ronde for a game and Tiki's performance suffers, people take notice of Ronde's contributions. And in the very next game, a trick play wins the day-and gives Ronde his own glorious moment. The tone here is equal parts sunny reminiscence and inspirational game-day pep talk; the text sails along like a skillfully thrown spiral. Kids will quickly grasp the overt message of teamwork, and budding athletes will thrill to know that NFL players experience real childhood struggles, too. Root's slightly fuzzy, earth-toned watercolors capture the speed, action and colors of autumn Saturday afternoons as well as the subtler shadings of the boys' realistic emotions. Ages 6-10. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Clear and evocative text about twin brothers working as a team—and working through issues of whose contribution is noticed as they win football games—makes these two NFL superstars come to life for young readers. Ronde, the blocker, watches as Tiki makes touchdown after touchdown and wins the kudos of the crowds and the respect and interest of sports reporters. Mother, coach, and friends all contribute to the life lessons: do your best with what you have got, it is a good thing to work together, and to win a game takes a whole team. Action-packed illustrations by Barry Root clarify game plays for those not fans of football and also capture the feelings—from excitement to wistfulness—of the twins. 2005, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 7 to 10.
—Elisabeth Greenberg
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The Barber twins, both NFL superstars, teamed up with Burleigh to write an engaging memoir that touches on themes of cooperation and individual differences. When the brothers played football in their hometown Pee Wee league, a local reporter interviewed them and seemed to focus his attention on Tiki, the touchdown hero. Ronde knew his brother could not score without his own strong defense clearing the way, but no one seemed to notice his skill. Feeling jealous and unappreciated, Ronde finally gained perspective on his contributions when he was sidelined with a minor injury. However, it was Tiki who showed him the meaning of teamwork. Root's rich illustrations, done in watercolor and gouache, realistically portray the action. This book is sure to be of interest to young athletes, but the lessons of self-acceptance and working together to contribute to the success of the group are universally valuable. Use this title to spark discussions of personal strengths and abilities.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Kids who have played any sport in a vital but unsung capacity will identify with this second outing from the Barbers, twin professional football players. Ronde is a blocking back for the Cave Spring Vikings, and his brother Tiki is the ball carrier. Tiki garners much admiration for snapping off long touchdown runs, not leastwise the result of his brother's crack downfield blocking. Guess who gets the kudos? In no way is Ronde embittered, though he sure would like some recognition for his contribution. As he talks with his teammates, his coach and his mother, he realizes that his hard work has not gone unnoticed and that everyone has a role to play to insure the team's success. The Barbers' cool voice and warmth of camaraderie are giveaways that Ronde will get a shot at the limelight, but the message scores its own goal: Everyone has a critical part to play on a team and everyone can revel in the accomplishments. Lots of great football talk and Root's rich colors of amber, green and deep blue bring the field to life. (Picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416900931
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 8/30/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 481,161
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: AD590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tiki Barber is a record-holding retired running back for the New York Giants. He married and is the father of four children.

Ronde Barber is a record-holding cornerback who retired after fifteen seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is one of only two cornerbacks selected to the Pro Bowl five times. He is married with two daughters.

Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, illustrated by Barry Blitt; Night Flight, illustrated by Wendell Minor; and Black Whiteness, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop. His many other books include Hoops; Stealing Home; and Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! He lives in Michigan.

Barry Root is the illustrator of many books for children, including Gumbrella, which he also wrote; Dream Big; By My Brother’s Side; and Game Day, which received a Christopher Award in the category of books for young people. He lives with his family in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Tiki and Ronde Barber

You both played a lot of sports as kids. At what age did you two decide that you were most serious about football?

TB: We probably didn't exclusively focus on football until our second year in college. We just enjoyed being athletes.
RB: I don't think it was ever a case of deciding that football was the right sport to get serious about. We were both great track-and-field athletes as well, and we competed into our college days. I would guess that our senior years in high school, after we accepted our football scholarships, was when we said this is what we are best at.

Tiki, did you ever have any trouble with the leg you broke as a child? Ronde, have you had any injuries playing sports?

TB: After I was healed up and competing again I never had trouble with it (for the record, I only lacerated my leg, albeit to the bone, nothing was broken).
RB: I have had many injuries playing football. Far too many to recall, actually. I have recovered from five different surgeries from my second year in college through my last one in 2003.

Did you ever try to switch places on the field?

TB: No, our positions are too different, it would be a disaster.
RB: No. I never felt a need for that. At some point we became fairly specialized at what we do. Of course, in recreational football and even through prep ball, we played everywhere.

Do you have a favorite childhood book?

TB: The Little Engine That Could.
RB: I would guess it was a Dr. Seuss book because his are the ones that come to mind.

Since you play in different regions, are you able to see each other's games? Do you talk about the games, plays, and outcomes afterward?

TB: I try to watch as many games of Ronde's that I can. I usually only can see them when he's on national TV. We do talk after every game, whether I see it or not, about what and how each of us did.
RB: Only occasionally do I get to see his games. And we do talk after every game, but it's not too much about football.

You played each other last year on November 17, 2003. What was the outcome of the game, and on which side did your mom sit?

TB: Ronde's team, the Bucs, won the game. My mom sat in a box on Ronde's side (home teams get better tickets).
RB: Tampa won, and Mom always sits with the home team.

What would you each say is the single greatest characteristic that is necessary to make it to the NFL? Is that any different from what it takes to have a long career in professional football?

TB: I think they are the same thing. A lot goes in to being a NFL player and having a long career, so it's hard to narrow it down to the one most important characteristic. However, I think having a strong belief in yourself and not seeing failure as an option is at the top. Make your self-fulfilling prophecy a positive one.
RB: Based on what I've been through, I would say perseverance. I think I've overcome a lot of uncertain times to be where I am now. I think people always doubt you in some way or other and my perseverance allowed me to never forget my goals. I think that, too, is what is necessary to stay a long time in our league.

You have both been advocates of children and reading through the literacy program Verizon Reads, your volunteer work in Read Across America, and other national organizations that support reading. Who were your early influences in your love of reading?

TB: My mom always kept books around the house, so we were drawn to them.
RB: That's a really good question and the only good answer I have is my mom and Tiki. It's important to support literacy programs because the ability to read comprehensively is the rock that successful people really unconsciously rely on.

Were you always good students? Did you always hand in your homework on time?

TB: I was always a good student; my mom instilled in us the importance of academics early on and it stuck with us. She wouldn't let us go to practice until we did our homework.
RB: We were always good students simply because we have always been competitive people. Just as in sports we had the ambition to be the best. That attitude definitely spilled over into our academic lives.

Have you ever wanted to play another position on your team other than the one you currently play?

TB: I've never wanted to be anything except a running back.
RB: Not particularly. Like I said earlier, we are more or less skilled professionals, and I know how to do what I do very well. There are more than enough skilled athletes to play all the other positions.

You are great role models for young people. Who were your role models growing up?

TB: Walter Payton was my favorite player. He was great all the time even when his teams weren't very good.
RB: My mom and some of my coaches.

What was your best moment on the field or most memorable game?

TB: My most memorable game was in 1995 while I was still at UVA. We played Florida State (ranked number two in the country at the time) on ESPN-Thursday Night Football. I had the best game of my college career and we beat them on the last play of the game, becoming the first team in the ACC to beat them.
RB: For me it is without question our NFC Championship game in Philadelphia in 2003. It could easily be considered my best game against a team that seemingly had our number. And, oh yeah, I had the game-clinching interception for a touchdown that sent us to Super Bowl XXXVII.

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