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The Underdogs

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,563 ratings  ·  246 reviews
#1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica tackles football!

Will Tyler can fly on a football field. He may not be the biggest running back around, but no one can touch him when it comes to hitting the hole and finding the end zone. And no one can match his love of the game. When Will has a football in hand, he may as well be flying for real because life can't touch him - hi
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Philomel Books (first published September 6th 2011)
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The Underdogs by Mike LupicaHeat by Mike LupicaTravel Team by Mike LupicaThe Big Field by Mike LupicaMillion-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
Best Sports Books 2012
1st out of 10 books — 3 voters
Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
154th out of 169 books — 698 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,610)
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No coach, no money for uniforms, not enough boys to play football. No problem. Will Tyler, the likeable hero of The Underdogs will find a way to solve the problems facing his team.

Mike Lupica, the New York Daily News columnist, has penned several sport books about kids in baseball and basketball. Typically the kids have to overcome obstacles on the field, but also off of the field. I grew up reading a lot of sports books for kids and have read other Lupica novels. They are high quality entertain
Tammi Peterman
This is an intermediate chapter book suited for grades 4-7. This is a great independent read-though it may be challenging, the content and play by play action will keep the student motivated to keep reading.

I selected this book because the students interest inventory indicated he enjoys playing football. The student also indicated that he enjoys adventure stories and while this is not a traditional adventure story the struggle Will Tyler experiences to fund and build a place to play and build a
This book is a great book because it shows how a team that had nothing, and worked it way up to the top to win their league championship. Despite all of there disadvantages, the bulldogs pulled off becoming a true underdog team. I also really liked this book because the coach of the team, who was a former star football player before his dreams were shattered when he severely injured his knee, got the chance to get back on the field and coach the team to victory. In this book it also shows how Wi ...more
Jun 15, 2015 Catherine rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Football Fans, Upper Elementary/Middle School Readers
Recommended to Catherine by: Tyler
Some of the best books I've read were recommended to me by students. Recently, a 5th grader who was working on a book trailer project for my class asked for help. The conversation went something like this:

5th Grade Boy: Mrs. Salcedo, what city does The Underdogs take place in?
Me: What?
5GB: You know, The Underdogs, what's the city?
Me: I don't know.
5GB: Yes, you do. You know the book about the boy with the football team. You know, the really good book.
Me: No. I've never read that.
5GB (looking at m
I liked this book and I like the author. Mike Lupica has written a lot of sports books that I plan on reading. This was my first book from the author so plan on reading the others. Even though this book did not have an around the world adventure, it was about a small adventure that one boys team had. I do not know a lot about football and I like to learn, so I did like learning new things in this book.
The Underdogs is a story about boy and his team that love to play football but do nit have en
Dj Bynum
Dec 13, 2012 Dj Bynum rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 1
This book is about a 12 year old runningback named Will Tyler that has the passion to play football and fight for his team. The Book the Underdogs is a great book for football lovers and a inspiration for people that dont believe in miracles.I liked this book because it tells people to never give up on your dream and that they also come true.This book is a great book for children, parents, teachers, and coaches because it tells people my age or even if an adult is struggling with a job or financ ...more
Joe Gerard
How would you like it if you came within a few yards of beating the football team you despise the most? Will Tyler didn't like it, and I'm pretty sure, if you were in his shoes, you wouldn't either. The Underdogs, by Mike Lupica is about how Will Tyler came within a few yards of beating his rival football team in the championship. Plus, his football team he played on wasn't able to play anymore, because the business that funded it, went out of business. After he hears the bad news, Will goes to ...more
This was a good book about how when the odds are stacked against you like they were against the protagonist Will Tyler and his town of Forbes Pennsylvania you may still be able to achieve greatness with the help of others. Will Tyler had to go a long way to bring a football season to his team, starting by finding $10,000 to cover equipment. He tested his luck by emailing the owner of new balance athletic apparel seeing if the company would sponsor the team. The unlikely chance somehow worked in ...more
Nick Bruns
I rate this as a 4 star book. The main character lives a small town that the main business, and this kid trys to make a hail Mary pass by trying to get football back in the town. Then there are some ups and down in the path but I won't spoil the ending, but I think this is a very good book. I thought this book was a fairly easy to follow. I would recommend this book to any sports fan because everybody likes underdogs.
It was about a football team that had no money. Will tried to find a way to get a coach uniforms and players. He wrote a letter to New balance. The owner decided he would sponsor there team. New Balance bought them cleats helmets pads and jerseys.
I didn't like it because Will sounded selfish at some points. Will was selfish when he wouldn't let a girl play with them at first. Will's dad wouldn't help his son at football. Will couldn't get Toby to play at first but he had to talk to him for a
I'm neither a teenage boy nor a sports fan, but for some reason I really love Mike Lupica's books about kids who play sports. They make me feel the camaraderie of a really good sports team without actually making me join one!
Aaron Trebley
In this book a kid named Will Tyler's town, which is Forbes, Pennsylvania, is very poor and Will might not have a football season. But he sent a letter to New Balance to ask them to for some gear for football. When New Balance sent him a email that they would Will started looking for players and a coach. The other coach was leaving town forever for a job. Now his coach is use to be Forbes star running back Joe Tyler, which is Will's dad. Now they are a couple games away of playing Castle Rock wh ...more
Jake Delossantos
The Underdogs, one of my favorite sports books of all time. Mike Lupica captures many athletes dream of being those who rise to the top and win, overcoming any challenges that stand in the way. In Underdogs, many of those challenges arise from off the field, rather than on. From the ground-up, Will Tyler does not let anything stop him. Embarassment, is what Will fears more than injury. Through his mistakes, Will only finds himself getting better and better. This inspirational story is one that a ...more
Anthony Pesce
Do you like a good success story where a group of people are overcome all odds and win? If you think this is for you than The Underdogs by Mike Lupica is right for you. This is a realistic fiction book about Will Tyler an eleven year old football player who is in love with football but his town Forbs is a very poor town and cannot fund the sports programs. His dad Joe Tyler used to be a star in football himself but tore his knee in high school and had never been able to walk properly again. Cast ...more
Noah Smith
The Underdogs
Mike Lupica

Twelve-year-old Will Tyler's passion is football, and not only he loves the sport, he also excels at it. His team made it to the championship game and unfortunately lost because Will fumbled the ball just feet away from the goal line. Something even more upsetting than this, is that the school doesn't have enough money for extracurricular activities next year, and Will does not want that to happen. Throughout the book, most kids have moved away since the towns famous Forb
This book is an intermediate book. It could be a read aloud or for independent reading. The book is intended for grades 4-7 according to School Library Journal. It is a Lexile reading level of a 5.2 according to the Follett Destiny search. If the student is a strong reader then it could be read independently.
I chose this book for Haidyn because he marked he would like to know more about sports on the interest inventory. He said he would like to go back to the time when the Bears were good and if
Jerod Sawyer

I just finished reading “The Underdogs” by Mike Lupica. Lupica has wrote many sports books for example Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw . Mike is also referred to as one of the most prominent sports writers in america . He started by doing newspaper articles over the New York Knicks at the age of 23.

In “The Underdogs” the main character is Will Tyler, he is a 12 year old boy he has the greatest passion for football. In the book you hear the author explain how will has a gear that no
Nov 03, 2014 Conor added it
In this novel Will Tyler is his youth football teams running back. He lives in a poor town, that is poor because of a job shortage due to a factory getting shut down, so they struggle for a coach, uniforms, and barely have enough players for their team. Will eventually gets a sponsor to pay for the teams needs, but they still struggle to find players. After scrapping together 11 players, they struggle through a season of challenges until their big game. Will scores the winning touchdown at the e ...more
Aug 20, 2014 Heath added it
Over the summer I read The Underdogs by Mike Lupica. This novel follows the life of 12 year old star running back, Will Tyler. Will and his father Joe Tyler live in Forbes, Pennsylvania. Will and the Forbes Bulldogs are out of money after the Forbes Flyers shoe company puts an end to their sponsorship. Will takes matters into his own hands and calls New Balance to get them to sponsor. When it's all said and done, the Bulldogs are back in buisness. After putting together a team with big boys, and ...more
Ragan Henry
The Underdogs
Ragan Henry

The underdogs was a story that was full of heart. The main character Will Tyler had a huge passion for football and he wanted to go back to championship and win it this time.But the school he went to said no to him to play football. Since the town went economically down, the school had to cut back on money. So they took down the whole football team, their jerseys, coaches,and the football field itself. Most of the football players had to move since most of the pare
Title and author of book:The Underdogs by Mike Lupica

Main Characters

Will Tyler
male, skinny, 12 years old
passionate about football
wears football jerseys everyday
lives in Forbes
Mom has died

Hannah Grayson
female, brown hair, 12 years old
joins the football team
very athletic and helps the team win
flirts with Will

Joe Tyler
father of Will
he destroyed his knee while playing high school football which ended his chances of getting a scholarship
causes him to hate the game of football
delivers mail
Jack C.
I would give The Underdogs by: Mike Lupica 5 out of 5 stars because of the Persistence of Will, how the most worst possible things kept happening, and the cliffhangers.
The main character, Will, had persistence many times throughout the story, but there were two times in the beginning of the story that just blew me away. One time was how he was able to play football this year in the first place. When the town didn’t have enough money in the budget to have a football program, Will didn’t just ex
Lindsay Weideman

I picked, The Underdogs, by Mike Lupica as an intermediate book for my text set because it portrays a great message about accomplishing goals. It is a sports novel, so will spark a lot of interest in the boys, but I actually think it would appeal to a lot of the girls as well because a girl joins the football team. I am a huge sports enthusiast, so I really enjoyed this book. The story is about a boy named Will Tyler who has a passion for the game of football. He can’t wait for the new
This book is about a twelve year old kid named Will Tyler. He is supposed to be the fastest running back in the league but he might not have a team this year. Do to the towns cuts there might not be enough money to fund the team this year. He then writes a letter to new balance asking them to fund the team and they do. Then comes the next problem they only have ten people and Will doesn't realize the eleventh is standing right in front of him. Her name is Hannah and she's the most athletic and t ...more
Ayaan Amlani
The Underdogs is a great book. It packs a lot of exciting things like how it is about football. Will is a boy who plays in a football league. He is having a hard time with his team and he is the only one who believes that they will win. He needs to save his team and will he do it? This book has many great elements. This book was really an underdog. Get it! Not funny right. I thought this book had no chance of beating Milllon Dollar Throw. It did not,but was close. It had an ok story. That was r ...more
Matthew (:
I Thought this book was amazing for my taste in reading because I love books that I can relate with. In this book a whole lot of the book was about football. Football is one of my favorite activity's. This is for sure one of my favorite books I have ever read because of how much I can compare to this book. It only took me about a week to read this book, not because it is to easy but because it makes me want to keep reading and never drop the book. I have never read a Chapter book in only one wee ...more
Griffin G
This summer I read The Underdogs by Mike Lupica. The novel is about a 12 year old football player that lives with his family in Forbes, Pennsylvania. Living in a small town with not as much money as their rivals, The Castle Rock Bears. Will and his team don't have enough money to afford uniforms and footballs to use in the game, Will then took action and emailed New Balance for sponsorship. New Balance agreed and helped pay for things they needed. The Bulldogs were then ready for the season, and ...more
Now that I've read this book more i think that i liked the million dollar throw more because, it was more interesting and it made you wanna read more, as of this book it actually kinda boring in some parts, it was better in the beginning when you were getting to know the characters. in million dollar throw i could understand where the main character Nate Brodie was coming from and this book gets a little complicated sometimes.

The Underdogs is Lupica's story of an exceptional young football player whose plans for a season playing his favorite game are threatened when his struggling town can't afford to fund. Will Tyler has a can-do attitude about nearly everything, and he works to address every block thrown his way in his endeavor to ensure that there will be football, and that his team will be contenders.

There are lots of really great qualities about this book. It shows the power of optimism but also work to make thi

Dylan McManaway
In Mike Lupica's book, The Underdogs, Will Tyler keeps remembering the final play against a rival team in the previous season championship. The play that cost his team the championship, Will decided to keep the ball on the last play, but fumbled the football. Not only was it the last play of that season, but it could be the last play for Will and his team ever. With him living in the manufacturing town Forbes, Pennsylvania the factory sponsoring his team has shut down for the last time, taking w ...more
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New Balance product placement 1 1 Sep 22, 2014 07:15AM  
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