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Quarterback Scramble
Quarterback Scramble
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Reviewed Titles
Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novel

Quarterback Scramble

As the backup quarterback for the Hawks, Ben Paulson is happy to ride the bench and hang out with his teammates on the sidelines. But everything changes when the Hawks' star quarterback, Wes Blake, gets suspended for pulling poor grades in math. With Ben at the helm, the offense starts to stall, and his teammates place the blame squarely on his shoulders. Soon after, a possible solution to Ben's passing problems reveals itself -- but he's not so sure it's the right answer.

PublisherStone Arch Books
BrandSports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novel
Age Level8-14 Years
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
GenreSports Fiction
Trim Size5 1/4 x 7 1/2
Page Count56



School Library Journal - Travis Jonker

"Standard sports clichés play out in both titles. In Hoop Rat, Griffin Henshaw, 14, joins the Spartans but doesn’t receive a warm welcome–he’s the former captain of the archrival Goliaths, and his new teammates wonder where his true allegiance lies. In Scramble, reluctant backup QB Ben Paulson, 14, must step into the big shoes of suspended golden boy Wes Blake. Both books build tension, leading to high-pressure games at their climaxes. Brisk pacing should keep readers interested, but the stories have fairly abrupt conclusions. Themes of self-confidence, loyalty, and friendship come across loud and clear. Characters are flat, with a minimum of development. Design plays a key role, as each book opens with an ESPN-style “special report” featuring main character bios and a “ticker” at the bottom of the page. The stylized, vaguely anime-inspired art employs bright colors and dramatic shifts in perspective to keep the excitement high. While both titles have generic plots, sports-loving reluctant readers will likely be sucked in." - School Library Journal

July 1, 2011

Booklist - Kat Kan

"Wes Blake and Ben Paulson play on their middle-school football team, the Hawks. Wes is the star quarterback, and Ben is the backup, who usually sits on the bench. When Wes fails his algebra exam, the teacher has him suspended from the team until he improves his grade, which means Ben, who gets good grades but lacks athletic confidence, must play. After the team suffers a humiliating loss, Wes decides that Ben should help him study algebra, and he can help Ben practice football. Even when Wes does well enough to play again, the next big game, against a very tough team, will need both boys. This graphic novel, part of the Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels series, provides football action in a story that promotes cooperation on and off the field without being too preachy. Sandoval’s quirky but dynamic art shows manga influences. The book includes a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Readers should also pay attention to the little ticker-tape commentary at the bottom of the pages." - Booklist

May 15, 2011

The Graphic Classroom Blog - Mr. Wilson

"Sports Illustrated Kids, in conjunction with Stone Arch Books, created a series of sports related fictional comic stories for elementary and middle school kids. The comics are designed to teach lessons on teamwork, sharing, anger control, bullying, fair play, disability inclusion, gender inclusion, and other lessons through a sports framework. Both mainstream and alternative sports are included: • Snowboarding • Baseball • Football • Basketball • Paintball • Hockey • Skateboarding • Soccer Many of the stories feature an overenthusiastic or even out-of-control parent or coach who pushes a kid to be overly aggressive and win at all costs. After a quick talk with a sage advisor they change their ways and even apologize to the player. Okay, so it’s an ending with a pretty-bow. I’m typically more of a fan of authentic stories rather than teachable moment morality tales or after-school specials, but I understand the place that morality tales play in the classroom especially with younger kids. Considering the discussion of bullying within schools and society recently, perhaps we need more direct instruction on how to treat other people and behave within society. I think these would be well played on the elementary or early middle school level, but I suspect seventh and eighth graders might wholly reject the titles with their eye rolling, sighing and general sardonic teenagerness. That doesn’t mean they don’t need the lessons or should not have the lessons, but you might encounter resistance. The elementary level is where this series will do its good. Classroom teachers and even physical education teachers could use this series to help instruct kids on the complicated issues of bullying, ball hogging, aggression, and extreme sports pressures. Even on the elementary level we see students pushed very hard by parents or coaches to accel, win and often hurt or punish the other team. Learning to deal with those pressures at an early level can help with character development on and off the field. ART REVIEW SI Kids comics are designed like a TV sports show with stats, bios, and after-game interviews. The whole package is designed to engage reluctant readers in a TV-style experience. Once hooked, it can teach them honorable sports conduct. In a further attempt to gain entrance into modern minds, SI Kids comics use colorized manga with simple panel layouts, which is popular among youth. AGE RECOMMENDATION Chris’ Rating: Ages 7 and older Publisher’s Reading Level: Grades 2-3 Publisher’s Interest Level: Grades 3-8 Lexile levels, ATOS, and Guided Reading levels are available on all the titles in the series. BE AWARE There are bullies and ultra-aggressive parents, but they always learn their lessons in the end. OTHER INFORMATION Publisher: Stone Arch Books Genre: Sports Format: Reinforced Library Binding Pages: 56 Color: Full color Google Previews are also available for some of the titles. CHRIS’ RECOMMENDATION: Recommended" - The Graphic Classroom Blog

October 9, 2010


Book Legion - Matt MacNabb

"Ok, let me start out by announcing that I am NOT a sports fan. I'm not into sports...not a sports person whatsoever. You may have guessed this by the fact that I run a network of nerdy websites. I mean, I review books....what'd you seriously expect, right? Here is the thing with these releases from Capstone Kids [Stone Arch Books]....they rock, plain and simple. Why? Read on.... I gave this stack of books from Capstone and Sports Illustrated Kids to my own children and they went nuts! They too aren't into sports, but these aren't books for jocks. These are extreme sports and the focus is really on the characters and story. The sports hobbies are really just a backdrop. They're fun and interesting and not at all geared just towards jocky kids. We wanted to feature this series and bring them to your attention, whether you're a librarian, teacher or a parent, these titles should be in your possession!  They can be purchased in hardback library binding or softcover." - Book Legion

February 1, 2010

Brandon Terrell

Brandon Terrell

Brandon Terrell was the author of numerous children’s books, including six volumes in the Tony Hawk’s 900 Revolution series and several Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels.

Go to the Author’s Page →