Sunday, March 16, 2014
I recently read The Big Time by Tim Green. Twelve-year-old Football Genius Troy and his teammates have just won the state football championship. Everything seems in place for Troy to succeed in his dreams to have the money for college and someday buy his mother a nice house and a car. She deserves everything in Troy’s eyes because she’s the only parent he’s ever known. While celebrating their big victory at star Atlanta Falcon linebacker Seth Holloway’s house, Drew Edinger shows up at the door. Troy is astonished to see the father he's never met at his coach's house and it causes Troy’s dreams to follow another path. His mom had constantly told Troy that his father abandoned them both and that he didn’t care, but seeing the fancy sports car and learning his dad is a lawyer and agent from Chicago with big money clients, like mega-bucks rapper “G Money”, puts doubts in Troy’s mind that his father really didn’t care. After all, here he is his wanting to get to know the son he never knew he had. Drew tells his son that he'd like to represent him in contract negotiations to maximize the return on Troy's remarkable ability to predict football plays. Everyone but Troy is suspicious of Drew’s sudden appearance after 12 years, including best friends and teammates Nathan and Tate. But Troy is elated his father is part of his life, even though his mother knows better. She gets some information about Drew that causes the reunion to come to a crashing end. The FBI suddenly are part of Troy’s life, showing up in his kitchen and telling Troy, his mother and gramps about dirty deals and money laundering Drew has got involved in. But the FBI tells Troy he has a chance to do something good for his dad. The FBI offer a deal that requires Troy to take a big risk, but it could keep his father out of a 10 year jail sentence. Troy is not about to lose his dad again and he agrees to do whatever it takes. After all, it’s for his dad. With help from Tate, Troy is successful in getting the information the FBI needed to put the evil associates of his father in jail. But it also causes Drew to flee and once again disappear from Troy’s life. The Big Time is about Troy’s desire to connect for the first time with his dad. It is a nerve racking, and sometimes sad, situation for a 12-year-old who has spent years wishing his dad would be there to meet him after games, and be a part of his life. We see the trust issues that emerge among his family and friends as questions around his father’s motivation come into question. There is very little football action other than when Troy and his team win the backyard brawl between junior all-star teams from Georgia and Florida. It is still a football-tough kind of story with dangerous moments that will bring out the emotions in anyone who reads this book.