Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
Publication Date/Version: November 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: Philomel Books
Age Group: Middle Grades/Young Adult
Received From: Publicist (Thanks!)
Nate Brodie is nicknamed "Brady," and not just for his arm. He's the biggest Tom Brady fan in all of New England. He's even saved up to buy an autographed Brady football. And when he does, he wins the chance at something he's never dreamed of - to throw a pass through a target at a Patriots game for one million dollars. On live TV!
Nate should be excited. But things have been tough lately. His dad lost his job and his family is struggling to keep their home. It's no secret that a million dollars would go a long way. So instead of being happy, all Nate feels is pressure, and just when he needs it most, his golden arm begins to fail him. Yet his best friend, Abby, refuses to let him feel sorry for himself. Not with what she's going through.
Mike Lupica has created a novel that many people today will be able to relate to. He tackles an especially tough subject that affects a lot of people today: the economy. Nate's parents are barely getting by and he knows it. He also knows that this throw could save his family, and the pressure mounts up. On top of this, his best friend, Abby, is going blind. Nate is overcome by the pressure, and begins to lose his game.
I felt so sorry for Nate. Although he has a great opportunity, he basically has to make this throw or his family loses their house and everything else. He deals with so much pressure and at times it gets to him. I don't know what I'd do if I were in his situation. It was easy to relate to Nate and his family's economic troubles. Basically everyone right now is suffering, and it was hard to have to see this young guy deal with all of his family's problems. His parents tried to keep it away from him, but it was obvious how much the million dollars would help. I was especially emotional about the economic hardships because my family does everything they can to give me the very best, and I related to Nate in that I want to help out my family.
Normally I don't enjoy reading books with male protagonists, especially books about male-dominated sports, but this was worth it. I enjoy football, so I understand most of the terminology, but I wouldn't recommend this to people who can't stand sports, as this is what the entire book revolves around. Nate was easy to relate to though. It was great to see such a supportive family. Million-Dollar Throw was inspirational and very emotional.
Overall: This book will tug at a lot of heartstrings, as it really is a serious book.
My Advice: Borrow this from your local library. It's not for everyone, but it does have a great message.
Cover: It represents the book well, but it's not very eye-catching. Definitely geared more towards males.