Payback Time
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Payback Time

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,560 ratings  ·  230 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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YA Sport Novels
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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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2011 Phoebe rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Deborah, Cheryl
Deuker is a refreshing author to read because his plots are straightforward, his writing is direct and uncluttered, and he knows sports. This book will attract football fans, but they will find an interesting and worthwhile secondary story about overweight Dan (nicknamed Mitch), who is disappointed that he does not get to be editor of his school paper. Instead, he is assigned to cover sports. Despite being a non-athlete, Mitch knows football, and he discovers that covering games and writing arti...more
Ms. Yingling
Dan "Mitch" (as in Michelin Man) True is getting by. Life is full of little disappointments-- he isn't made newspaper editor, he's overweight, and girls aren't interested in him. But it's okay, because he has plans. He throws himself into his assignment as a sports reporter for the school paper, especially when it means spending a lot of time with Kimi, who does photography and is determined to get into an Ivy League college. When the two uncover a possible big story about a new football player,...more
This is 7/8 a brilliant, compelling YA sports mystery. I read it in a single day. Daniel "Mitch" True is an overweight high school senior with a dream to become the next Woodward or Bernstein. Even that dream seems beyond his grasp when he doesn't become editor of the school newspaper and the girl who is selected assigns him to the sports beat--although it is a backhanded compliment since he's the best writer and the sports page is all anybody reads. Mitch is paired with Kimi, a Korean girl who...more
Jan 24, 2013 Ruhama rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Mitch longs to be a big time reporter--the one who breaks the exciting story that has everyone talking. He expects to enter his senior year able to do that as the head of the school newspaper. But when everyone else on the team votes Alyssa as editor and she moves Mitch to the sports beat, he's crushed and debates quitting. Mitch can't quite bring himself to walk out, though, and as Alyssa explains, the only part of the paper his classmates care about is the sports section. Mitch realizes he's b...more
Sep 17, 2012 Beverly rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: 12-14 yr old
Recommended to Beverly by: Best Books for Young Adults/
Payback Time is a great read for all teens. It is one-third a football story, with excellent descriptions of action packed games, one-third mystery with some excellent sleuthing from the protagonist, and one-third coming of age story with a much more interesting protagonist at the end of the book than the beginning. Daniel True, aka Mitch, is an aspiring newspaper journalist. His dream is to get accepted to Columbia University School of Journalism which means he must have a stellar resume and po...more
Matthew Pinaire
Payback time was probably the most inspiring book I have ever read. It not only showed that this world is dangerous but showed a kid who not only went from 210 pounds to 170 in one football season but also covered a story that would be the biggest in Washington state. He started out at the end of the year hoping that he would make the editor for his high school paper but ended up losing against a girl who he thought won just because she was popular but as you see throughout the book comes to kn...more
I am becoming a fan of Carl Deuker's YA books. Although I do not always follow all his sports play-by-play,the high school boys that come in for books do. He writes smoothly and in a way that makes the reader keep going.

Payback Time's main character,Mitch True, is a character that readers have to like even though he is flawed. He describes himself as pasty complected, short, and fat. But as the story unfolds, we see is is also an intelligent and talented writer.

His goal is to become a reporter....more
Highly Recommended. Grade 7 & up
Jane Flanders
Lincoln Public Library

This is not your run-of-the mill sports story. This is a thriller. 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...more
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