Payback Time [NOOK Book]

Overview

Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ...
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Payback Time

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Overview

Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ineligible player?  In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he's done.  In the end, the truth surprises everyone.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "The game action alone is riveting even for readers who don’t know a naked bootleg from a hook-and-ladder play, but Deuker enriches the tale with several welltuned subplots and a memorable narrator/protagonist who turns a corner on his own self-image while weathering brutal tests of his courage and determination. Definitely one for the top shelf."—Booklist, starred review

"Told in the first person, the story is initially funny, but the humor is soon eclipsed by the suspenseful plot and the copious play-by-play football action. These elements work together to create a rousing climax, which is then followed by a softer and more reflective denouement. Nicely played. "—Kirkus Reviews

"Deuker has crafted another entertaining and readable football story. The game descriptions are well done and will appeal to players and fans. Many teens who dreamed of being a star as children but don't make the team in high school will identify with Mitch." —School Library Journal

"A strong football story with nail-biting action and intrigue and a strong, appealing protagonist."—VOYA

"It's a solid Cooneyesque mystery/thriller, though, with enough straight-up gridiron action to draw a crowd, and it won't take much booktalking to sell middle-schoolers on this title."—The Bulletin

Gym Candy
An IRA 2009 Young Adult Choice
Texas Lone Star 2009 list

 
"Riveting" —The Bulletin

"An eye-opening recommendation to all budding athletes." —VOYA

"A superb sports novel with no easy resolutions."  —Kirkus Reviews
 
Runner

A Booklist Top Ten Sports Book
A VOYA  Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers
Nominated as YA book of the Year in Texas
 
"Deuker fans won't be disappointed."—The Bulletin

 
"Suspenseful and involving. . . . Chance's dilemmas will quickly draw in readers and keep them turning the pages." —Kliatt
 
"Sinister goings-on, a murder, last minute heroism, and a new life rich with possibility make this a satisfying read." —Kirkus Reviews
 
 
High Heat
A Booksense 76 Pick
A Booklist Top 10 Youth Sports Book

Winner of the Golden Sower Award
 
"High Heat joins the Deuker canon with yet another fine study of a conflicted soul whose ethical salvation is determined in a sporting arena." —The Bulletin
 
"Good baseball books are in short supply for teens; do not let this one slip past." —VOYA

 
Night Hoops
An ALA Best Book
 
(star)  "An excellent novel." —School Library Journal
 
"Deuker adds further luster to his reputation for top-flight sports writing matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories." —Kirkus Reviews
 
Heart of a Champion
YA book of the Year in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Tennessee.  Paperback edition available from Little, Brown.
Painting the Black
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Winner
An ALA Best Book

(star)  "It ain't pretty, but it's real." —The Bulletin

"The well-written sports scenes will draw readers, but it is Ryan's moral courage that will linger when the reading is done." —Booklist 

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Mitch True is a great name for an aspiring newspaper reporter, except that "Mitch" is short for "Michelin Man"—a taunt leveled at overweight Daniel when he arrived at Seattle's Lincoln High School three years ago. Now a senior, Mitch has been passed over for editor of the school paper, but assumes he will keep his lead reporter slot. However, new editor Alyssa Hansson has other ideas, and tells Mitch that being the sports reporter will get his pieces more exposure. Tempted to quit the paper altogether, Mitch overcomes his disappointment and teams up with straight-A student and new photographer Kimi Yon. As football season unfolds, they are both puzzled about why coach McNulty never starts the newest team member, Angel Marichal; they have seen his superior speed and passing during informal workouts. McNulty tells Mitch in no uncertain terms to keep his game write-ups focused on Horst Diamond, star quarterback and Mitch's former friend. Still, every time the team is in trouble, McNulty puts Angel in the game, and now Lincoln High is marching its way toward the state championships. Mitch and Kimi, suspecting that McNulty's desire to return to college coaching is driving him to use an overage ringer, are determined to uncover the truth. Their investigative efforts pay off when they learn that Angel has changed his name and moved to Seattle from Philadelphia. Warnings to stop digging into the story come from McNulty, anonymous voices on the phone, and Angel himself. This is, at heart, a football story with a somewhat predictable mystery thrown in for good measure. Well-drawn characters, convincing teen dynamics, and play-by-play game coverage should hook male readers and/or football fans. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
VOYA - Eileen Kuhl
Payback Time is a compelling combination of sports novel and mystery. Daniel (alias Mitch) is the underdog in his high school. He does not have a girlfriend, has few friends, and cannot play sports, but he is a talented reporter for the school newspaper and is desperately searching for the perfect lead story to get him noticed by the local paper. Daniel begrudgingly takes the sports assignment at the beginning of his senior year and soon realizes that this routine job may give him the break he needs. Following the star football players and their irritable coach in their search for the state championship, he discovers that there is a possible serious violation on the team. The coach keeps placing Angel, a talented new transfer student, into the lineup, but he will not allow any publicity or interviews. Being a diligent reporter, Daniel along with the sports photographer, Kimi, begin to piece together a suspicious situation. Angel's school records cannot be located; he lives in a barred apartment and seems to have his own bodyguards. Is he is older than he claims, does he have a professional background, and why is he being protected? Kimi and Daniel get involved in more and more dangerous situations as they get closer to the answer. Daniel is also faced with an agonizing decision as an upcoming journalist: is it his responsibility to report this story that may lead to a championship scandal, or should he be loyal to his team? Deuker provides a strong football story with nail-biting action and intrigue and a strong, appealing protagonist. Fans who enjoyed Tim Green's Football novels (HarperCollins) and Peter Abrahams's Reality Check (HarperTeen, 2009/VOYA April 2009) will devour this book. Reviewer: Eileen Kuhl
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Senior Daniel True is short, pale, and round, hence his nickname the Michelin Man, or Mitch, for short. His former elementary school best friend, Horst Diamond, is the star quarterback and BMOC at their Seattle high school. Mitch's ambition is to be an ace investigative reporter, à la Woodward and Bernstein, but the new editor of the school newspaper assigns him to cover sports. Worse still, Coach McNulty makes it clear that Mitch's job is to be Horst's cheerleader. McNulty intends to ride his star player to a college coaching job, and he won't let Mitch do anything to jeopardize that opportunity. While covering a practice, Mitch notices Angel Marichal, a senior transfer student. Angel is clearly the best athlete in the school, but McNulty keeps him hidden, playing second string, changing his jersey number, and denying any interview requests. Mitch knows that McNulty and Angel are hiding something, and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. What he finds is far different from what he suspects, and along the way his personal and journalistic ethics are tested. Deuker has crafted another entertaining and readable football story. The game descriptions are well done and will appeal to players and fans. Many teens who dreamed of being a star as children but don't make the team in high school will identify with Mitch.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews

After losing the election for editor, Mitch True, an overweight aspiring journalist, is assigned to be the sports reporter for his high-school paper. He's initially disappointed with the assignment, but he soon discovers that the gig has its perks. Kimi, the sports photographer, is beautiful, bright and brave, and, remarkably,he may be sitting on a scorcher of a story. It seems that there's a high-school football player, a recent transfer, who is huge and amazingly talented. Yet the player is seriously underutilized, and, oddly, the coach doesn't want a word written about him. As Mitch begins to lose weight, gain confidence and, with Kimi's help, ferret out the mystery, he finds that he has accidentally poked his pen into a hornet's nest. Told in the first person, the story is initially funny, but the humor is soon eclipsed by the suspenseful plot and the copious play-by-play football action. These elements work together to create a rousing climax, which is then followed by a softer and more reflective denouement. Nicely played. (Mystery. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547505022
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/6/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 162,032
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: HL750L (what's this?)
  • File size: 983 KB

Meet the Author

Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2010

    you must buy it or cheack it out

    Pay back time Elijah Nguyen
    Book Report
    Period 4
    English

    So the question was why I would recommend the reading of this book to other people.
    And I Chose that you should recommend this book to other people especially teen age
    Boys. Mostly because it's about football, but that's not all, also because there is a lesson,
    It teaches that even though you are the biggest the strongest and the fastest on a football team you won't play if you have something hiding from yourself. Like if you do something bad or your older then your supposed to be you won't play no matter how good you are. So that is the lesson for all you boys out there. Also this book was really good it is the best one I ever read so coming from me I thing you should all read this wonderful book. And if you are a reporter for your school newspaper or something, then I also recommend you to read this great book. Because the main character is a reporter trying to revile a football secret about the best player on the team that never gets to play because of some secret he has. So the reporter is trying to solve the mystery. Also this book was made by awarded wining author Carl Deuker. That is why I recommend you read this great book, because a bet you will love this amazing book. So that should answer your question of why you should read this book I am telling you it is really good, so read it.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2010

    very interesting

    I am reading Payback Time by Carl Deuker. I thought it was very interesting, and I think everyone else should read this. It is about two high schoolers investigating on a new kid at their school. They think he is an undercover cop but he isn't. The main characters were Kimi, Mitch, and Angel. My favorite character was Mitch because he always tried his best. I could relate to Mitch, because he always tries everything to the best of his abilities. Mitch, Kimi, and Angel run into some gang problems which could get them killed. I really do like this book it is very interesting.
    Garrett

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Dan "Mitch" True sees his school newspaper as his ticket to a career in journalism someday. He has his sights set on leaving Seattle and heading to college in New York City. What better place to find, write, and report the news of the world! There is only one problem. How is he supposed to become a top-notch journalist when he's being assigned to write the sports column? Mitch can't believe it when Alyssa is chosen as editor for the paper. He was sure he would get the job. To make matters worse, she tells him he will be writing all the sports stories. It should be obvious to anyone observant enough to notice his overweight, out of shape body that sports are not a priority for Mitch. The only thing Alyssa says to encourage him is that at least people will read his stories since the sports section is really the only part of the paper anyone reads. Mitch heads off to the first football game with Kimi, the staff photographer. They both focus on the team's star player, the quarterback, Horst Diamond. His talent looks like the only hope for an interesting season, that is until Mitch and Kimi notice Angel Marichal. Coach McNulty doesn't seem the least bit interested in Angel. Even though Mitch watches the kid throw practice passes on the sidelines that would make an NFL player jealous, the coach shrugs away any suggestions that Angel should be given more playing time. Mitch begins to suspect something is going on when he writes about this new player's amazing potential only to have those sections of his stories removed before they appear in the paper. When he points this out to Kimi, she agrees that perhaps they should do a bit of investigative journalism. They work together to uncover the mystery of Angel Marichal. Is the coach using Angel to cheat his way into a championship position, or is there something else illegal going on? Author Carl Deuker uses his expertise as a sports fiction writer to entertain teen readers with some great football action as well as an intriguing mystery. Readers will follow this high school football team's winning season and at the same time witness Deuker's characters as they encounter slashed tires, gang threats, and physical violence. In an incredible combination of action and adventure, PAYBACK TIME is sure to be a satisfying read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    B-

    B-

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    By anonymus

    This book has pashion and true hearted characters. Dan (mitch) True trys to make dull stories interesting when a new editor comes in comand he is moved to sports. Will Dan take this or will he have his Payback Time?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    To:please help

    Yes u will like it even of u dont like football

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    Great Book- highly recommend

    This is about a reporter named Mitch True. He has been assigned to watch and write about the schools football team. Now Mitch isn't involved in any sports, but because he is such a good writer he can make a dead game seem crazily intense. Mitch one practice sees a player on the field throwing perfect, bullet passes. No chance he wouldn't beat out the already starting QB. But when the coach asks to see him throw, he lobs the ball up and throws soft-rainbow passes? Each game this player called 'Angel' is very involved in the game. He gets interceptions in times of need, and makes tackles to stop open field runs, and for some reason never starts a game. Each game though Mitch is writing an article for the lincoln light (his school paper) and the seattle times (professional business) and each article he writes, the editors always take out anything said about Angel. Mitch is getting frustrated! Read to find out why Angel is being hidden... Why won't the coach ever start him in a game, or even let Mitch talk to him. .. Why does the seattle Times keep taking out everything said about him? Great book for all people. You do not have to like football to like this book, it is more of a mysterious and thinking book, just with football in it. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Please help

    Do you think ill like it if i dont like football?

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    Amazing

    Best book i eve read. Couldnt put the nookbook down!!!!!!!????

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2011

    Football!!!!!!!

    I LOVED IT!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    <3<3

    I friggin love thi book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Aweme Awesome Story!

    Great book i wou recommend it to any sports fan or if you just want a good mystery! Happy New Year!! #2014

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Not as good as i expected

    Left me wondering what happened.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Awesome

    Pretty cool.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Hey u

    Its gooood!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Hi anyone there

    Does anyone wont to talk

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    X,j

    Etdx,glyuru olj .jl iuvmhryxj

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    H

    I got the sample then bought the book but it is still the sample # need help

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    Ya

    Yayaa booooboooooo naka jaka le nikop plon necka t¿

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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