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Payback Time

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,944 ratings  ·  260 reviews
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 t...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 6th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer IacopelliCatching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyDairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert MurdockThe Off Season by Catherine Gilbert MurdockFront and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
YA Sport Novels
58th out of 191 books — 270 voters
Matched by Ally CondieScrawl by Mark ShulmanPayback Time by Carl DeukerSplit by Swati AvasthiHappyface by Stephen Emond
2013 Oklahoma High School Sequoyah Book Award
3rd out of 16 books — 12 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Newengland
A lot of boys are reluctant readers, tough nuts to crack for parents and teachers who want their kids to read more. Many of these boys are into sports, too -- some merely as fans, and others as actual players. If you know a kid like this and you don't know about Carl Deuker, you should familiarize yourself with Deuker's growing work. He's good at what he does, and what he does is chiefly sports, often with a secondary plot that goes beyond sports.

PAYBACK TIME follows the familiar Deuker formula....more
Adam Krause
The book “Payback Time” by Carl Deuker is an ok book. Senior Daniel True is short, pale and overweight. His nickname is the Michelin Man, or Mitch for short. Mitch wants to be an investigative reporter but, for now, he’s stuck covering sports for the school newspaper. In true investigative style, Mitch wants to dig deeper into the mysterious Angel, an older-looking transfer student with “NFL skills” whom football Coach McNulty is hiding on the bench until key moments of play. Coach changes Angel...more
Kelly Moore
This might be the first sports book I've ever read. Even if you know nothing about football, like me, the sports scenes are great. My one big complaint about the book is the cliche that the author used about the kids with purple hair and tattoos being the druggie kids. Does this guy really think that any kid who feels like dying their hair a bright color is a drug user? Lame. Other than that major annoyance, it was a fun mystery with a great main character.
Iglesias
This story is about Mitch, a young high school journalist. He hopes that one day he will be a journalist that will uncover some large, life altering news story, such as maybe Watergate or something similar. His high school, Lincoln High School, has a school paper, which Mitch wanted to be the editor of. Mitch was sadly disappointed when they gave him the sports column. He is disappointed because he liked sports but being overweight he often was picked on and never participated in the sports, and...more
Jenny
This book is my new favorite book! I read it for a competition. To be honest i would never have read this book b/c i usually read girly books but I throughly enjoyed this!
Jennifer Lavoie
This book blew me away in my expectations. I was expecting a totally different story from what I got, but that is a good thing! This book will appeal to many readers, not just boys like I thought.

Mitch is a great character. He is motivated and pushes himself when he wants something. When he decides to lose weight, I found myself cheering for him and pushed the bag of chips I was eating away from myself. Kimi is another good character. She is strong, fierce, and goes after what she wants, but sh...more
Chase Seliger
Carl Deuker’s book, Payback Time, the only book in its series, is about a teenager named Daniel True or Mitch, who has the dream to be a big reporter. Ever since Mitch was little, he has had the dream to be a reporter. Even though he needs to start out low at being a school reporter, he’s in love with that. Everyone knows every reporter has at least one big story and Mitch thinks he has his hands on his when a new kid named Angel Marichal comes to their high school. Angel is a very shadowy guy...more
Abraham
Feb 14, 2013 Abraham is currently reading it
What i thought about this book is that this book is awesome!. First the title Payback Time its a catching title, because i thought it was a bout two teams that were rivals and that one team beat the other team and the team that lost wanted Payback. Actually its is about football but theres these two kids named Mitch and Kimi who are with the school's newspaper. There were investigating this kid named Angel. Angel plays football and is really good at quarter back. Kimi spotted angel during the fo...more
Tylor
May 23, 2011 Tylor added it
i chossen this book because i .love football and i love reading about mit and the author is my favorite author i always enjoy reading his book. this is a realistic fiction. it takes place in settle. the main chracter is mitch true he is a kid that dosent think to hiughly of himselfd hes a sports writer really good one. its about mitch finds this kid that really good but he dosent play and he knows somthing weird is going on and was going to do anything it took to get to the bottom of it. mitch h...more
Aaron Epperson
Payback time is a very interesting book. It interested me due to the football play by play, but also the mystery part kept me engaged when the plays couldn't. The story line is really good. It strongly influences the theme, "Don't judge a book by its cover" and I think that's really good for teenage readers. Deuker was on point with his book and his characters were great. I can't wait to read the rest of his sports books. I recommend this book to any football player or mystery seeker. I recommen...more
Amy
This was 3/1/2 for me...I liked the story line behind all the sports stuff but found myself skimming the football scenes. They just seemed so secondary to the actual ploy rather than integral to the story. The idea of a kid getting in shape, coming into his own, and finding that news is not always without consequences was great. I'm not sure if kids seeking out a true sports story will get past the first few pages about an overweight reporter for the school newspaper as the sports stuff doesn't...more
Danny Dougherty
Danny Dougherty
Ms. Peyman
English 1, period A
10/1/14
SRP Book Review
Payback Time by Carl Deuker
Payback Time by Carl Deuker is a mystery fiction book about a boy named Daniel True who unexpectedly discovers the interesting background of a classmate, Angel. The themes of this book are to never give up and to do the right thing. Daniel never gave up on his dream to become a professional writer. Daniel also acted honorably by helping Angel. I like this book because it keeps the reader interested and...more
Patrick Ogiba
Patrick Ogiba
9\16\14
Eglish

Book review

At first, I thought PAYBACK TIME by Carl Deuker was going to be only about sports, but I was very wrong. After the first two chapters it reeled me in with the descriptive words and story line so I couldn't put it down.

The main character, Daniel True, tries to get his big story for the Lincoln light, a high school newspaper in seattle. He’s a reporter for the sports section of it. The big story is on Angel Marichal, a football cornerback that has amazing tale...more
Christopher Melton
Payback Time by Carl Deuker is sports/mystery non-fiction book about a teenager named Daniel truth who has dreams of being a big time reporter. Daniel goes to Lincon High and is apart of the newspaper editorial in his school. he is given a assignment to write about sports, which he thinks is boring but he actually finds out something very interesting about one of the player's on the football team named Angel Marichal.


Throughout this book, there was some things that i really liked about the boo...more
Carolina Hernandez
Payback Time by Carl Deuker is a great book. Its interesting to read for athletes and people who wants to become a reporter when they grow up. Also for those that might be in the need of an advice or those who need motivation to continue their life goals. It's an easy book to read for teenagers. It has mystery and it makes the reader think on what is going to happen next. The book on its own its divided into 5 different parts. Each part is like a different situation. At first it starts about how...more
Mrs. Joslyn
Mar 26, 2014 Mrs. Joslyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone, but especially sprts fans
I didn't think that I would enjoy this book very much but I was pleasantly surprised. I picked it up looking for books that would interest middle school boys and instead found a book that I think would interest most everyone.
Mitch True is an overweight kid whose goal in life is to become the editor of his school paper so that he can continue on to college with that on his resume in hopes of becoming a real journalist. Things don't go the way Mitch is hoping because he does not get the editor...more
Katieb
Feb 28, 2014 Katieb added it
"Payback Time" by Carl Deuker is " Definitely one for the top shelf." -Booklist. I really liked this book it has action and mystery! I would recommend this book for middle schoolers. Mitch True is a Reporter at Lincoln High, and his assignment is to cover sports for the Lincoln Light newspapers. His partner who takes pictures is Kimi, they both head out to the football field to take some pictures and interview Horst Diamond, the star football player. When Mitch and Kimi are at the football field...more
Michael Cruz
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Austin Coulthard
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Joseph Goodwin
I really like this book because it's about my favorite sport football, but the weird thing is is that the main character [ Mitch True] isn't even athletic and has never played a sport before in his life. The cool thing is he wants to be a reporter when he grows up but he's already sending articles to the Seattle Times, so he's halfway there. He's writing an article about a guy named Angel and he plays football, but he doesn't really talk much because he's the new kid, but he's really good at foo...more
Bobbie B
Mitch True is an average high school kid with a passion for writing. He loves writing for the school newspaper. Until he gets replaced by a girl named Alyssa. She has changes and one of them is to make Mitch the new sports writer. He does not like sports that much so he tries to talk Alyssa into giving him a different job but she believes in him. Mitch gets assigned his first assignment, and he gets a partner. Her name is Kimi. When they go to the football practice they notice a new player. They...more
Ruairi
This book had a very good plot line that i really enjoyed but it seems that the writer is trying too hard yo keep you interested.
This is about a fat guy who wanted to become a reporter and found this amazing story about a football player who testified against a gang and the gang is trying to find him and kill him and he has to give up his story for the safety of the football player while also doing some pretty amazing stuff
Ryan
I think anybody who likes football should read this book. I think its a very well written book. My favorite character is Mitch. I think this is a good book because of how they explain the scenes they are in. It also does a good job of showing how much determination a young reporter truly needs to be to actually be noticed. The author also did a good job of foreshadowing what is going to happen.
Amanda
Mitch, an overweight school newspaper writer, is the last person who should be writing about sports. But the new editor places him on that assignment, so he wants to do his very best. He espies a new football player, Angel, who is not like the others—Angel can throw and play like a professional, but the coach does not utilize him like he should. Angel is very mysterious and Mitch sees an opportunity to uncover a story that would catapult him to the front pages.[return][return]However, when he be...more
Joseph Lovett
Payback Time I followed a young kid named Daniel and his friend and school newspaper writer Kimi. They put themselves threw dangerous life threating situations from gangs to drugs trying to find out the real story behind a new transfer named Angel. Living in Seattle they have a lot of news and writers and they eventually end a spot with the Seattle times and they begin to get paid for there stories. Daniel and Kimi spend so much time together Daniel begins to form a little like and is attracted...more
19nolanr
Mitch has always wanted to be a writer and a reporter for a newspaper but when he joins the high school newspaper club. But instead of getting the lead reporter, he gets sports. One day when he went to interview the coach of the football team, he noticed a person named Angel that looks like the perfect quarter back. The only problem is that nobody else on the team or staff notices him. As the season goes by, Angle stays on the bench and Mitch gets curious. He needs to find out why he isn't start...more
Chase Merrill
this book is a bout a kid named Mitch True. he was dreaming of being a big time reporter for someone like the new york times and also wanting to be the lead reporter for his high school newspaper. unforchunatly for him he gets assigned sports. over time he learns to love to write about sports. esspecially because him and his photographer Kimi Yong discover a very talented kid namede Angel. They try to find out wear he is from and eventually conclude he is from Philidelphia. A couple of days lete...more
Josie
How far would you go to uncover someone's past? In the book "Payback Time" by Carl Deuker, Mitch is a reporter that writes for his high school paper. He gets stuck writing the sports section. When a new football player Angel shows up, Mitch digs hard to uncover why he does not want to stand out in the games when he knows he has great talent. Kimi, his new partner, takes pictures with him for the sports section. They go on a journey to find out Angel's background and why he wants to blend in with...more
Linda
Trying to make a name for himself with the school newspaper this brings up the issue of the obligation of the press to protect the innocent.
Heather
Jun 29, 2014 Heather rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults interested in sports and/or journalism
Shelves: read-but-unowned
I am not a football fan at all so the play by plays were mostly boring. Though, for someone who doesn't care about football, Deuker was still able to keep me engaged in some of the more intense football scenes. Besides the football, this was a decent investigative journalism/mystery story for YAs. It's written in first person and there were several times when the narrator was unreliably oblivious, which was extremely frustrating. I wonder how obvious those mistakes would be to a YA reader, thoug...more
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