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Payback Time

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,431 ratings  ·  308 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
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YA Sport Novels
44th out of 214 books — 302 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

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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.
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
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.
Hailey Krabbe
This book is about a journalist for Lincoln Lights high school news paper. His name is Daniel True, more likely to be known as Mitch a nickname that was picked up through the years. This was his senior year and in the newspaper he was just switched to the sports column, something he didn't really know much about since he got cut from the football team his freshman year. The first story he was put on was football, because that's what most high school students care about. What's worse than coveri ...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!
I really liked this book because it really got me at the edge of my seat. This book was really good because it kept me guessing different scenarios to what will eventually happen. I could never have guessed what happened at the end. Mitch true will do whatever it takes to get a good story. I really enjoyed reading this book because in the book was about this 17 year old kid who is a reporter in his school and he is about to unravel the intense past of a kid from Philidelphia. The 17 year old Mit ...more
Jake Lennon
Payback Time by Carl Deuker is suspenseful and action packed. The story is about an investigative journalism, but also has lots of play by play football games. A strange transfer student is in the heat of the story. Gang activity and witnessing a murder has put one character in jeopardy. Main characters Mitch and Kimi are put in lots of dangerous situations as a result of their involvement including assault fist fighting threatening phone calls and tire slashing. This is a great read for any spo ...more
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
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
Suzette Kunz
A sports writer for the school newspaper thinks he has uncovered a scandal on the team and investigates with the help of the photographer. This is pretty plot driven...not much character development. There are in-detail sports sequences, so it might appeal to football fans. The ending felt a little anti-climactic. It was fine, just not my favorite.
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
Bailey Wavrunek
PayBack Time, by Carl Deuker is a sports book about Daniel True and Kimi Yon, who are two High School news reporters. They are assigned to report on Lincoln High sports. One day a scandal about Coach McNulty and Angel Marichal came up. The scandal was that they were cheating. Angel was suspected to be a older male in his twenty's and getting older by the day. Daniel who is also known as Mitch went in to investigation to find out Angel's real age. The Lincoln Light(which is the school newspaper) ...more
Kyle Sheedy
Kyle Sheedy

Payback Time, by Carl Deuker, is an exciting fictional novel that focuses on football and
Mysteries all in one book. Deuker also wrote the book, Gym Candy also a book about
Football. If you are interested in reading about football you should grab this book ASAP.

In this novel, the main character is Daniel True a school journalist who finds his self-motivation
throughout the book when facing very big obstacles. Sometimes in the book he needs to be smart and courageous especially when he
Payback Time, by Carl Deuker, was not the book that I anticipated. The cover and back of the book make you believe that the book is about a football player who doesn’t play very much in the games. After reading a few pages, I began to notice that the main character was not a football player, at all. He was instead a fat high school boy with no friends that wanted to be a sports reporter. In the beginning, I was not interested, but as I read more, I didn’t want to stop. The main character, Daniel ...more
Damien Sears
PayBack Time was about a boy name Mitch who had a passion to play football but he had no skills. In his life there was only his mother and grandmother. No one could help him work on his skills he was self centered. On day he just got help from his highschool coach and started working and became one of the best. His name was then Mitch The Zit he was fast strong everything you needed. All of his old friends who dis him because he had no skills are now try to be cool with him.

I liked how Mitch s
Kishon Carter
"Payback Time" by Carl Deuker is a mystery/suspense novel about a high
school sports journalist named Daniel "Mitch" True. To try to find his
first big story and get his name known as being a good journalist, he triesto see if one of the players on his high school's football team is actuallyan undercover cop that's trying to bust some drug users and dealers. Daniel and his friend Kimi try to find this out by kind of spying on him and seeing what he does and here he goes outside of the school, then
George G
In the book Payback Time by Carl Deuker, the theme is that there is always something to be revealed. The reader learns that in people, and in objects, there is something one doesn't know about it. This book is set in Mitch and Kimi, who both work for the school newspaper for sports. Kimi takes all the pictures for the paper while Mitch, the protagonist writes for it. Angel is another important character. He is a new student at the high school, and has amazing football skills. As Mitch and Kimi b ...more
Miles Harrison
Payback time is a sports novel that's about a teen named Daniel, Who is journalist that follows the a high school football team named Lincoln Mustangs. While Daniel is editor for the mustangs Daniel was able to record all the football games by going to them. The mustangs were winning and that was suspicious because ever since a new football player came to the team they have started to win that new comer name was Angel archangel. Daniel and his friend and co worker try to find is there a secret b ...more
Mikal Milbourne
Payback Time by Carl Deuker is a sports book about a high school team of reporters who is trying to get a good story out of a football player on his high school football team. When they see that Angel is doing very well in football, they suspect that he and the coach is cheating.Mitch and Kimi try to find evidence that coach McNulty and Angel are cheating and also try to expose the truth about them.

There are many things that I enjoy about the story Payback Time. One of the things that I enjoy
Troy Torello
The book Payback Time by Carl Deuker was about a mysterious football player named Angel. Angel is a six foot three, 220 pound football player. This had me wondering if the coach had forgotten about this six foot three football player named Angel. The football team is very small compared to other teams. To win the games the football team needed to have him playing, they needed muscle. Angel made it on the team and he was exactly what the football team needed.
I thought that this book was a very
Danny Dougherty
Danny Dougherty
Ms. Peyman
English 1, period A
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
Patrick Ogiba
Patrick Ogiba

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
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
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
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
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SPSV Mrs. Rodgers...: Julius Fernandez 1 4 Oct 10, 2013 10:54PM  
Author's Methods 2 7 Aug 20, 2013 11:21AM  
The ending of the book 2 14 Jan 05, 2012 06:45PM  
Literature Analysis 1 4 Sep 28, 2011 08:17AM  
  • Stuck on Earth
  • Pop
  • How to Survive Middle School
  • Crackback
  • Little Blog on the Prairie
  • Cold Case
  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
  • Ball Don't Lie
  • Leverage
  • Jump
  • QB 1
  • Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court
  • After Ever After (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, #2)
  • Crossing Lines
  • Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl (The Sports Beat, #3)
  • Stupid Fast (Stupid Fast, #1)
  • Jefferson's Sons
  • Knights of the Hill Country
Gym Candy Runner Heart of a Champion Night Hoops High Heat

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