Okay, I have no idea what “blue thirty-two” means or if “HUT” is what they actually say down there on the field, but I love football and the competition of team sports. I particularly love the camaraderie and brotherhood of the team. Having never played on a football team, I can only imagine the warm fuzzies the guys must get knowing that their teammates have their backs. Okay, maybe not warm fuzzies, but some manly, scruffy version of warm fuzzies.
It takes a lot of hard work to become a team in the truest sense of the word. One of my alma mater’s claims to fame is that ‘Remember the Titans’ was filmed in large part on our campus — the scene in which the boys are called upon to tell Coach Boone something they’ve learned about another teammate is one of my favorite scenes. It shows the building blocks of teamwork and what it takes to invest yourself in those relationships. (It also helps your sense of teamwork if you have an awesome musical score playing in the background, but that’s a post for another day.) Fred Bowen tackles (pun intended) these important lessons in his latest title, Quarterback Season.

Quarterback Season by Fred Bowen
Quarterback Seasontakes us right into the thick of school sports and what it means to be part of a team. Matt is sure he’ll be the starting quarterback for his middle school’s football team this year—and why shouldn’t he be? He’s been training all summer for this. But when the new kid, Devro, joins the team and impresses the coach with his speed, Matt suddenly finds himself unsure of his chances.  
Vying for the same position, Matt and Devro quickly become unofficial enemies as the season approaches. Slowly but surely, the boys recognize that their individual strengths will go a lot further if they focus on doing what’s best for the team, rather than what will make them the star MVP of the season.
What I love about this book is that Bowen shows the other side of competition—competition within the team—and how it can jeopardize the season. It’s a great lesson in team building with all the exciting play-by-play action that this series is known for. Another interesting angle to this book is how the season and Matt’s transformation from star quarterback hopeful to all-around team player are detailed in his journal, which is written as part of an assignment for his English class. Matt learns to be a better teammate while he learns to be a better writer.
For more information on Fred Bowen and his Sports Story and All Star series books, check out his website here! Fred also did a really cool podcast with IRA last summer about his work. Check it out!