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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Backfield Boys

Backfield Boys

A Football Mystery in Black and White

John Feinstein

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)


In Backfield Boys, renowned sports journalist and New York Times–bestselling author John Feinstein tells a thrilling story of friendship, football, and a fight for justice.

Freshman footballers Jason Roddin and Tom Jefferson are a perfect pair: Jason is a blazing-fast wide-receiver, while his best friend Tom has all the skills a standout quarterback needs. After summer football camp at an elite sports-focused boarding school, the boys are thrilled to be invited back with full-ride scholarships.

But on day one of practice, they’re shocked when the team's coaching staff makes Tom, a black kid, a receiver and Jason, a white kid, a quarterback. Confronted with mounting evidence of deep-seated racial bias, the boys speak out, risking their scholarships and chances to play. As tensions ratchet up with coaches and other players, Tom and Jason must decide how much they're willing to lose in a conflict with powerful forces that has nothing—and everything—to do with the game they love.


The fields just kept rolling past the car, mile after mile.

“Did it take this long the last time we came down here?” Jason asked.

He was sitting in the back of the Jeffersons’ silver Honda Accord. Mr. Jefferson...

Praise for Backfield Boys

“An intriguing look at racism in contemporary sports and the power private schools have in shaping sports and upholding racist traditions.” —Booklist

“A strong football hook will draw in most sports fans . . . The boys’ driving quest for the truth will keep readers engaged.” —School Library Journal

“A brilliant novel about a valiant group of teens that fight blatant racial bias.” —Miranda
McDermott, Bronx Library Center

Praise for Foul Trouble:

“Thorough and suspenseful; a must-read for those interested in basketball and the dealings surrounding the sport.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A riveting, cautionary tale about behind-the-scenes, big-money pressures confronting talented high school athletes. . . . Timely hot topics are embedded in this action-packed sports story. Readers will breathlessly await Terrell’s final decision.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Reviews from Goodreads

John Feinstein

John Feinstein is the author of more than thirty books, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. He is also the author of numerous kids mysteries. His first young adult mystery, Last Shot, won the Edgar Allen Poe Award. John also works for The Washington Post, The Golf Channel, Sirius XM Radio, and Comcast Sportsnet.

image of John Feinsteino
Christine Feinstein

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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