Out of His League

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Overview

Ozzie, an Australian Rugby League player, participates in a high school exchange program that places him in a small West Texas town of Hope, where football is life. When the coach learns of his rugby skills, he asks Ozzie to join Hope's football team, especially if it will give the team an edge to break its losing streak. Ozzie befriends his teammates and a few cheerleaders while leading the team to victory and becoming the new town hero. America really does feel like the land of opportunity, and he soon finds ...

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Walker Childrens, 06/24/2008, Hardcover, Brand New! New dust jacket.

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Overview

Ozzie, an Australian Rugby League player, participates in a high school exchange program that places him in a small West Texas town of Hope, where football is life. When the coach learns of his rugby skills, he asks Ozzie to join Hope's football team, especially if it will give the team an edge to break its losing streak. Ozzie befriends his teammates and a few cheerleaders while leading the team to victory and becoming the new town hero. America really does feel like the land of opportunity, and he soon finds himself torn between the lure of this new country and the ties that bind him to his home in Australia.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Ozzie Eaton loves playing Rugby League "footy" in Australia and is good at it. The Brisbane professional team is thinking about signing him, but first he's going to Hope, Texas, as an exchange student in high school. Why he is allowed to do this when he has already graduated from high school in Australia is beyond me, but go he does; leaving behind his grandfather, Pop, his girlfriend, Jess, and his best friend, Johnno. He ends up on the high school football team, where he shows the players and the coach a thing or two, turning the team into winners and endearing himself to schoolmates and townspeople alike. The story touches on relationships and finding oneself, but the characters lack personal and emotional depth. I felt as if Ozzie was floating through the story without connecting. His setbacks are minor. I would have liked a bit more description of rugby and the difference between Australian Rugby and the Australian Rugby League. Ozzie keeps stressing that there is a difference, but no explanation is given. Fine for Australian readers, but not for American readers. Still, the author's depiction of small-town Texans' love of their high school football teams is right on target. The family Ozzie is staying with is left out of the story for the most part, which seemed a pity to me—might have given more depth. That being said, it was an entertaining read and the game descriptions are very good. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Ozzie Eaton, an exchange student from Australia, introduces the rugby style of play to a Texas high school football team and helps to turn their season around. American readers may be put off by the unfamiliar terms used in the opening chapters set in Australia, and their elders may be equally put off by the casual attitude displayed toward teenage drinking. The author's credibility with knowledgeable fans of American football will be compromised by his gaffe-ridden descriptions of the sport-he has a young Texan referring to football players as "footballers," he attributes a quarterback sack to a collapse of the defensive line, and he invents a scoring play called the "penalty fieldgoal." The book's naive, superficial, and almost unrelentingly negative portrayal of American culture is merely annoying; patently offensive is a scene in which an American girl, speaking of a corrupt Mexican policeman, says, "You can see why us Americans have no sympathy for countries like that. They deserve everything they damn well get." There are many fine books written from a foreigner's perspective that help to illuminate the American experience. This is not one of them.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT

Kirkus Reviews
Ozzie, a rugby player from West Queensland, Australia, participates in a high-school exchange program that lands him in the small, football-crazy West Texas town of Hope. Ozzie's worries about fitting in quickly disappear with the discovery that his superior rugby skills translate well to the football field. The Hope Shooters finds the miracle it has sought to turn around its lackluster record, and Ozzie becomes a star, with newfound fame and friends and plenty of attention from many gorgeous cheerleaders. Ozzie finds himself torn between the great opportunities he has found in America and the life and people he has left behind in Australia. The familiar "fish out of water" scenario is kept fresh by an appealing protagonist and cast of supporting characters; Flynn's sharp eye for cultural details and American high-school life provides fodder for many funny, satirical moments (Ozzie's encounter with fundamentalist Christianity is particularly amusing). Fans of sports stories and Friday Night Lights will find this an especially enjoyable tale. (Fiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
From Kirkus Reviews "Fans of sports stories and Friday Night Lights will find this an especially enjoyable tale."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802797766
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 6/24/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.76 (w) x 5.24 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Flynn won the Australian Junior Championship, and twelve other titles at 17. Like Ozzie, he went to school in Texas, attending The University of Texas at Austin for four years. Pat then went on to qualify for Wimbledon, the French Open, and the Australian Open, but after his big breakthrough failed to materialize, he decided to become a writer. He lives in Queensland, Australia.

www.patflynnwriter.com

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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 13, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Steph for TeensReadToo.com

    Ozzie is a rugby player back home in Australia, but when he leaves to go to America for an exchange program, he finds himself out on the football field. <BR/><BR/>New game. New rules. New friends. New girls. <BR/><BR/>As the Hope Shooters Texas football team wins game after game, Ozzie is swept up into the world of American football and quickly forgetting his old life back in Australia. <BR/><BR/>Will his new friends make him forget his old friends? Will Ozzie lose his girl back home to the pretty cheerleader in the States? Will Ozzie choose to stay in America for college? <BR/><BR/>Pat Flynn does a great job at recreating the typical American teen life dealing with high school, sports, and relationships. This entertaining tale of an Aussie dealing with his new life in America will please all who read it.

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    Posted June 23, 2012

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