Synopsis – It’s 1987 and twelve-year-old Sam Beasley only wants two things: to play football and for his mother to stop dating losers. Only there’s no money for a football team in Bricktown, while there’s an endless supply of losers for his mother to bring home.
Sam finds a friend in the elderly widow down the street. While he’s careful not to let on about his crummy home life, Mrs. Coleman always seems to know when he needs to do wash or eat a hot meal. When he mentions his football dilemma, she surprises him by offering to fund the team. It’s a dream come true, until she names the team The Gospel, declares herself head coach, and arms herself with a whistle, Bible scriptures, and a mouthful of grammar lessons. But Sam has bigger worries, like his mom’s latest loser, Troy, easily the worse one yet. As Sam’s home life spirals out of control, the boys of Bricktown become more than a football team, and football becomes more than just about winning.
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Queenie’s Review – This story is about a 12-year-old boy named Sam, a widow named Mrs. Coleman, and a community called Bricktown. The year is 1987 and Sam only wanted to play football and his mother to stop dating losers. The themes of this book are friendship, racism, poverty, and domestic violence. Sam lives in a poor and mostly African-American neighborhood but quickly learns there’s a community of love. This page turner was heartfelt and funny. It would take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I really enjoyed the story overall. Some of the scenes and characters were familiar and real. The story means family. I recommend this book to young adults as well as adults. I give this book five stars.