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Game Changer

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Teddy Youngblood is in a coma fighting for his life after an unspecified football injury at training camp. His family and friends flock to his bedside to support his recovery—and to discuss the events leading up to the tragic accident. Was this an inevitable result of playing a
violent sport, or was something more sinister happening on the field that day?
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Harry N. Abrams
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  161 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher upon request

At the end of summer football camp for the Walthorne Wildcats, Ted Youngblood collapses as he comes off the field and ends up comatose in the hospital. Told in dialogue, texts, interviews and chat boards by Ted's parents and sister, his doctors, his teammates and others from school, we slowly find out why Ted ended up being injured. We also hear from Ted from the underwater depths of his coma. Ted's parents are divorced, so are not always in agreement as
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Teddy Youngblood is admitted into intensive care after a football accident...or was it an accident?

Told through mixed-media (texts, dialog, newpaper articles, etc), Game Changer is ultimately about the dangers of toxic masculinity.

Recommended for middle/high school-aged reluctant readers.
Abbey Hauser
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review found at:
I received an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of the Amulet Books via NetGalley.

Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald

Release Date: September 11, 2018

Publisher: Amulet Books

Genre: Middle Grade

Rating:  3.5 / 5 


The book begins with a hospital report detailing the injury and comatose status of Edward "Teddy" Youngblood, age 13. From there we start to hear Teddy's inner thoughts, in a sort jumbled nonsensical format. Throu
Ian Miller
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift. I was never the one to “sit down and read.” I always enjoyed building things or doing something outside instead. My opinion might not be what others think or should think because I have read, a total of about 10 books in my life, probably 8/10 were for school. So I don’t know how valid my rating would be. Game Changer, is a football concentrated book. The book is about, as it says on the cover, “One hit changed everything.” It is about a freshman in high school wh ...more
Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Audience: Middle Grade
Rating: 3 out of 5

What Game Changer was about:
Through hospital records, social media messages, text messages and the like, we read the story of Teddy, a 13 year old football player. He is in a coma following a football injury. We get to read his inner thoughts as well as the thoughts of his family, friends and teammates. At first, all believe that this was a typical football injury bu
Tommy Greenwald is a great storyteller, and he clearly knows his middle grade audience. In this book whose plot could have been drawn from current headlines, he explores the possible consequences when some athletes take things too far. Thirteen-year-old Teddy Youngblood is a promising football player who is expected to make contributions for the Walthorne Wildcats. But something goes wrong at training camp, and he ends up in a coma and on life support. As his parents, who are divorced, argue ove ...more
Mrs. Notton Class
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the book, Game Changer, by Tommy Greenwald, it follows the story of a boy named Teddy, who is in a coma after a hard hit in football camp. Everyone is worried for Teddy and hope he comes back healthy. Most of this story takes place in the hospital, and is focused mostly about Teddy in his coma or some of the students talking about how they hope Teddy gets well soon.
Everyone who is surrounding Teddy doesn’t know what’s going to happen to him and are all very scared for him. A ton of students
Brenda Kahn
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well. My head is spinning! This is a quick, compelling read. Why then, you might be asking, did it take me three days to read? I kept getting angry/ upset and had to put the book down. Greenwald does a spectacular job of creating confusion and anxiety with the rapid shifts in POV and the shifting formats - texts, websites, transcripts. It all works well to keep the reader unbalanced and scrambling to make sense. The fractured "sentences" and almost stream-of-consciousness "dialogue" of parents, ...more
I picked up this book because it was one that I knew we were going to be sent in our preview pack for our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair. All opinions are my own.

I did NOT expect to enjoy this book. I'm not a huge sports reader, and sometimes I don't like mixed genre books, which this is. BUT, I did. This was great. It is a fantastic middle-grade book about a horrible event that can happen at any time (a head injury on the football field), and how various people respond. Told in vignettes from Te
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald, 286 pages. Amulet, 2018. $17.

Language: PG (2 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (mentions violence)



No one except those who were there knows for sure what happened during the Rookie Rumble, but one of the freshmen, Teddy, is in a coma and another, Ethan, won’t see or talk to anyone.

Written through transcripts of texts and message boards, plus free verse formatted conversations. The on-point look at t
Valerie McEnroe
Teddy is in a coma after suffering a head injury at football camp. One of his friends starts a forum where people can post sentiments about Teddy. Someone posts a comment suggesting that his injury wasn't an accident and that begins the mystery of what really happened to Teddy and the attempt to keep it quiet.

Loved the format of this book. It's a fast read and I couldn't put it down. The story is told through news clippings, social media postings, text messages, audio transcript of counseling se
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I READ A FOOTBALL BOOK because I had to, but it was pretty good! One of those fun unique format books, about a young man who falls into a coma after being hit at football camp. The story is mostly told through the other characters in his life talking to him while he's in the coma. This was emotionally effective but sometimes frustrating as the doctor says very early in the book "keep the conversation to your son in the coma positive!" and all his parents do is use him as a silent therapist. But ...more
Mrs. Trimble
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-teen-ya, sports
Surprisingly, I read this book from start to finish without putting it down! And I’m not a big fan of books about sports. I loved the way the story was told in different ways: a therapist’s transcript, text messages, Teddy’s internal thoughts, conversations in the hospital room and news articles. Having a young son who played football, I thought the story was very realistic and timely. There was a mystery element to it and I wanted to read to the end to find out what happened. Even though it’s o ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, books-2018
*I received an eARC from the publisher (ABRAMS Kids) through NetGalley, in return for an honest review.*

I requested this book because of its description and I was not disappointed!

Teddy is in the hospital under critical conditions after an incident during football camp. I love how the narrative switches from newspaper articles, to text messages, to therapist transcripts, to online forum messages, to dialogues Teddy listens and responds to. It not only creates a fast paced read, that is true to
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Game Changer is a great book! I couldn't put it done. The format of the story was different and kept a quick pace. It was written in dialogue, texts, news articles, online conversations, and more! The plot is teddy Youngblood collapses after football practice and is now in a coma. However, there is so much more to the story than that.

I teach 7th grade and wanted to find a book for my reluctant readers especially boys. I hit the jackpot!

This was such an innovated way to tell a sports story with
Sarah Hay
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: j
After an incident at football practice Teddy Youngblood is in a coma due to brain swelling. As the people in his community try to rally around his recovery rumors start to spread that this may be more than a hard hit and something else may be going on. Told through a variety of 'media' (text messages, facebook posts, conversations, and Teddy's internal thoughts) the truth about what really happened is slowly revealed.
This is a good one for older reluctant readers. Many of the conversations are w
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Told via various means - social media posts, inner thoughts, dialogue, monologues.
When a young man gets injured at football practice, he ends up in a coma. Further probing discovers a hidden culture of hazing and the lengths the coaches and team will go to hide this. A couple of players have the courage to come forward and share what actually happened. Fortunately, the young man begins to come out of the coma at the end of the book.
Powerful message on what's acceptable in sports and other areas
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very strong read. Brings to light some very negative influences in young people's lives. I feel like this book is a very good introduction to discussions parents may need to have with their teens about not just doing things because it will make you popular, or everyone else is doing it. Very few teens are strong enough to stand up to the older teens, and this causes trouble all around. I would go so far as to say this book is a must read for teens and parents.
Heidi Rikard
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting format and I get that it was trying to comment on an important issue, but it all just fell flat. The characters were very one-dimensional and the idea of all football players being "brainwashed" and not capable of being caring, sensitive human beings was stereotypical. So, while I do think it will find an audience with my junior high crowd, there are other sports authors out there (Chris Crutcher, Carl Deuker) who are also more master storytellers.
Liz Friend
The story: Teddy Youngblood gets blitzed during a football practice, and now he's in the hospital in a coma. Everyone is upset, even though it was an accident. Or...was it? As the whole story comes out bit by bit, it seems something ugly might have been going on right under the coaches' noses, followed by a conspiracy of silence. Because whatever you do, if you're on the team, you keep to the code.

June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG; Violence PG; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; M
WKPL Children's/YA Books
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Miss Lori read this book about the dangers of playing football and the code of honor among athletes. Wrapped up a little too neatly and quickly at the end, but a good story all around. 5th grade and older.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: football, sports
This is a good choice for sports fans and reluctant readers. Greenwald balances the arguments on both sides of the football for kids debate. Read my review at Bookish Adventures.
Mrs. Scott
Raises very important questions while still revealing what attracts us to the game. Great format: mix of narrators, conversation in verse, texts, online forum for students.
Cindy Christiansen
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Great mixture of perspectives and multimedia format! Some texts, verse, etc. Love that gradual realization of what really happened!
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was really good, even for readers who aren't interested in sports.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Even though this is fiction, every parent with a child in organized sports should read this. It’s a good reminder of how far kids will go to please parents, teammates, and coaches.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
"An ideal discussion starter for middle-school readers ready to debate whether football’s—or any sport’s—violence is reason to pull the plug." [from The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books]
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked the format of this book.
Josh Newhouse
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 18jun
Brutal, hard to read, but important book... I want a sequel!
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Goodreads Librari...: Correct Author Name, Add to Author Profile 2 18 May 14, 2018 12:13PM  
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Tommy Greenwald is the author of the CRIMEBITERS! series, about a group of friends and a (possibly) superhero crime-fighting vampire dog, and the CHARLIE JOE JACKSON books, a middle-grade series about the most reluctant reader ever born.

Tommy is also the Co-Founder of Spotco Advertising, a theatrical and entertainment advertising agency in New York City, and the lyricist and co-bookwriter (with An
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