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Children's LiteratureFootball skills course through the blood of the Mississippi Mannings who have dominated gridirons across the country. Patriarch Archibald, "Archie" Elisha Manning III, who played college football for the University of Mississippi then professionally for the New Orleans Saints, groomed his three sons to follow in his cleats. Two of his sons, Cooper and Eli, started on his alma mater's team, while Peyton considered his family's traditions at ‘Ole Miss but decided the University of Tennessee offered him better opportunities for a football career. Cooper's football ambitions ended when an injury threatened to paralyze him if he continued playing. Instead, he stayed involved in the sport without becoming a professional like his brothers. Accomplishments and disappointments that the Mannings faced together are discussed, emphasizing how their teamwork helped establish their family's athletic legacy. The text involves readers by asking how they would respond to situations the Mannings encountered. The glossary repeats definitions and pronunciations exactly as printed in the text's footnotes. Although the sons' mother is briefly mentioned, the text offers no details describing her support and impact on them as players. Considering the Manning family's New Orleans and Mississippi associations, inclusion of their reactions to Hurricane Katrina and any relief work they undertook would have been insightful. A high-interest chapter book in the "High Five Reading" series for inexperienced readers. 2006, Red Brick Learning/Capstone Press, Ages 6 to 10.
—Elizabeth D. Schafer