Payback Time

Payback Time

by Carl Deuker


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Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ineligible player?  In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he's done.  In the end, the truth surprises everyone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547279817
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 09/06/2010
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: HL750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Carl Deuker is widely considered a "premier author of provocative YA sports novels" including Gym Candy, named a Texas Lone Star title, and Runner, a Booklist Top 10 Sports Book.  His characters are high school athletes with differing abilities, ambitions, and psychological baggage, but their stories all unfold within the sports that they choose to play. Far from being just a hinge upon which to hang a plot, sports in Deuker's novels serve as a central metaphor for the complicated process of growing up. He lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife and daughter.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The game action alone is riveting even for readers who don’t know a naked bootleg from a hook-and-ladder play, but Deuker enriches the tale with several welltuned subplots and a memorable narrator/protagonist who turns a corner on his own self-image while weathering brutal tests of his courage and determination. Definitely one for the top shelf."—Booklist, starred review

"Told in the first person, the story is initially funny, but the humor is soon eclipsed by the suspenseful plot and the copious play-by-play football action. These elements work together to create a rousing climax, which is then followed by a softer and more reflective denouement. Nicely played. "—Kirkus Reviews

"Deuker has crafted another entertaining and readable football story. The game descriptions are well done and will appeal to players and fans. Many teens who dreamed of being a star as children but don't make the team in high school will identify with Mitch." —School Library Journal

"A strong football story with nail-biting action and intrigue and a strong, appealing protagonist."—VOYA

"It's a solid Cooneyesque mystery/thriller, though, with enough straight-up gridiron action to draw a crowd, and it won't take much booktalking to sell middle-schoolers on this title."—The Bulletin

Gym Candy
An IRA 2009 Young Adult Choice Texas Lone Star 2009 list
  "Riveting" —The Bulletin
"An eye-opening recommendation to all budding athletes." —VOYA
"A superb sports novel with no easy resolutions."  —Kirkus Reviews   Runner
A Booklist Top Ten Sports Book A VOYA  Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers Nominated as YA book of the Year in Texas   "Deuker fans won't be disappointed."—The Bulletin
  "Suspenseful and involving. . . . Chance's dilemmas will quickly draw in readers and keep them turning the pages." —Kliatt   "Sinister goings-on, a murder, last minute heroism, and a new life rich with possibility make this a satisfying read." —Kirkus Reviews     High Heat
A Booksense 76 Pick A Booklist Top 10 Youth Sports Book Winner of the Golden Sower Award   "High Heat joins the Deuker canon with yet another fine study of a conflicted soul whose ethical salvation is determined in a sporting arena." —The Bulletin   "Good baseball books are in short supply for teens; do not let this one slip past." —VOYA
  Night Hoops
An ALA Best Book   (star)  "An excellent novel." —School Library Journal   "Deuker adds further luster to his reputation for top-flight sports writing matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories." —Kirkus Reviews   Heart of a Champion
YA book of the Year in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Tennessee.  Paperback edition available from Little, Brown. Painting the Black A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Winner An ALA Best Book
(star)  "It ain't pretty, but it's real." —The Bulletin
"The well-written sports scenes will draw readers, but it is Ryan's moral courage that will linger when the reading is done." —Booklist 

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Payback Time 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Michellek77 More than 1 year ago
Pay back time Elijah Nguyen Book Report Period 4 English So the question was why I would recommend the reading of this book to other people. And I Chose that you should recommend this book to other people especially teen age Boys. Mostly because it's about football, but that's not all, also because there is a lesson, It teaches that even though you are the biggest the strongest and the fastest on a football team you won't play if you have something hiding from yourself. Like if you do something bad or your older then your supposed to be you won't play no matter how good you are. So that is the lesson for all you boys out there. Also this book was really good it is the best one I ever read so coming from me I thing you should all read this wonderful book. And if you are a reporter for your school newspaper or something, then I also recommend you to read this great book. Because the main character is a reporter trying to revile a football secret about the best player on the team that never gets to play because of some secret he has. So the reporter is trying to solve the mystery. Also this book was made by awarded wining author Carl Deuker. That is why I recommend you read this great book, because a bet you will love this amazing book. So that should answer your question of why you should read this book I am telling you it is really good, so read it.
Desire- More than 1 year ago
I am reading Payback Time by Carl Deuker. I thought it was very interesting, and I think everyone else should read this. It is about two high schoolers investigating on a new kid at their school. They think he is an undercover cop but he isn't. The main characters were Kimi, Mitch, and Angel. My favorite character was Mitch because he always tried his best. I could relate to Mitch, because he always tries everything to the best of his abilities. Mitch, Kimi, and Angel run into some gang problems which could get them killed. I really do like this book it is very interesting. Garrett
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Dan "Mitch" True sees his school newspaper as his ticket to a career in journalism someday. He has his sights set on leaving Seattle and heading to college in New York City. What better place to find, write, and report the news of the world! There is only one problem. How is he supposed to become a top-notch journalist when he's being assigned to write the sports column? Mitch can't believe it when Alyssa is chosen as editor for the paper. He was sure he would get the job. To make matters worse, she tells him he will be writing all the sports stories. It should be obvious to anyone observant enough to notice his overweight, out of shape body that sports are not a priority for Mitch. The only thing Alyssa says to encourage him is that at least people will read his stories since the sports section is really the only part of the paper anyone reads. Mitch heads off to the first football game with Kimi, the staff photographer. They both focus on the team's star player, the quarterback, Horst Diamond. His talent looks like the only hope for an interesting season, that is until Mitch and Kimi notice Angel Marichal. Coach McNulty doesn't seem the least bit interested in Angel. Even though Mitch watches the kid throw practice passes on the sidelines that would make an NFL player jealous, the coach shrugs away any suggestions that Angel should be given more playing time. Mitch begins to suspect something is going on when he writes about this new player's amazing potential only to have those sections of his stories removed before they appear in the paper. When he points this out to Kimi, she agrees that perhaps they should do a bit of investigative journalism. They work together to uncover the mystery of Angel Marichal. Is the coach using Angel to cheat his way into a championship position, or is there something else illegal going on? Author Carl Deuker uses his expertise as a sports fiction writer to entertain teen readers with some great football action as well as an intriguing mystery. Readers will follow this high school football team's winning season and at the same time witness Deuker's characters as they encounter slashed tires, gang threats, and physical violence. In an incredible combination of action and adventure, PAYBACK TIME is sure to be a satisfying read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has pashion and true hearted characters. Dan (mitch) True trys to make dull stories interesting when a new editor comes in comand he is moved to sports. Will Dan take this or will he have his Payback Time?
Newberg_A More than 1 year ago
This is about a reporter named Mitch True. He has been assigned to watch and write about the schools football team. Now Mitch isn't involved in any sports, but because he is such a good writer he can make a dead game seem crazily intense. Mitch one practice sees a player on the field throwing perfect, bullet passes. No chance he wouldn't beat out the already starting QB. But when the coach asks to see him throw, he lobs the ball up and throws soft-rainbow passes? Each game this player called 'Angel' is very involved in the game. He gets interceptions in times of need, and makes tackles to stop open field runs, and for some reason never starts a game. Each game though Mitch is writing an article for the lincoln light (his school paper) and the seattle times (professional business) and each article he writes, the editors always take out anything said about Angel. Mitch is getting frustrated! Read to find out why Angel is being hidden... Why won't the coach ever start him in a game, or even let Mitch talk to him. .. Why does the seattle Times keep taking out everything said about him? Great book for all people. You do not have to like football to like this book, it is more of a mysterious and thinking book, just with football in it. :)
lnommay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book talk:You hear it on the news and you can read about it in magazines like Sports Illustrated. There's cheating at all levels in athletics. There was the 12 year old that pitched a perfect game in the Little League World Series. Unfortunately, his birth certificate had been altered and he was really 14 and ineligible. And at the high school level, a report that was based on interviews across the country with 5,275 high school athletes, concluded that too many coaches are "teaching our kids to cheat and cut corners." Then there is the problem of steroid use all the way from teenagers to professional athletes. So you can see why the main character in Payback Time, Mitch True, would want to do everything possible to prove there is something suspicious going on with the high school football coach, a coach who wants to win the state championship so he can get himself noticed and get a college coaching job. As sports reporter for his high school newspaper, as well as a contributing reporter for the Seattle Times, Mitch is told not to report on anyone on the team except the star quarterback. And that means leaving out reporting about the transfer student who is obviously the best athlete on the team. What is Coach McNulty hiding? Perhaps an ineligible player who is really too old to be playing on the high school team? With some persistent investigating, Mitch and the school newspaper photographer Kimi uncover some startling information just as their high school gets ready to play in the state championship game. A story this big could land Mitch's name in top newspapers all over the country and insure him acceptance at a top college of his choice. And along the way, quite a few people will have their lives change forever. If you like a good mystery with lots of game-time action mixed in, Carl Deuker's Payback Tine is a great book for you.
bethanne79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first Carl Deuker book. The characters were interesting and well written. Not really what I am use to reading but it was from Netgalley. I would recommend this book for boys ages 12 and up.
amandacb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mitch, an overweight school newspaper writer, is the last person who should be writing about sports. But the new editor places him on that assignment, so he wants to do his very best. He espies a new football player, Angel, who is not like the others¿Angel can throw and play like a professional, but the coach does not utilize him like he should. Angel is very mysterious and Mitch sees an opportunity to uncover a story that would catapult him to the front pages.However, when he begins to dig deeper into Angel¿s past, Mitch quickly discovers that Angel is involved in something dangerous. Much of the danger is interspersed with football writing, as Mitch covers various football games during the season. The ending is rather abrupt and quickly tied up, but satisfactory. This book would be ideal for reluctant male high school readers.
mniday on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fun, young adult novel. I love football so this was right up my alley. The author is very knowledgeable about sports and it really shows with the exciting play-by-play sprinkled throughout the story. You can tell when someone tries to fake it, but this is spot on.The main character, Mitch, navigates through life challenges that all teenagers must face at one point or another. He comes to terms with who he is and the changes that he wants to make. He experiences his first love and the agony of defeat when another student is appointed editor of the school newspaper. There is plenty of suspense and action to offset the coming of age story. An investigation of a football player's background leads to exciting and dangerous places.My only complaint about the book was the ending. I realize this gets said quite a bit, everyone likes to think they could write a better ending. To me, it seemed like the author just gave up and did not bother with the ending. That may sound like a death sentence for a book, but, actually, it still worked out and there was enough closure for me.This was well worth the read. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think a few more books just went on to my growing To-Be-Read list.
lrobe190 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mitch True is an overweight high school student who dreams of becoming a famous journalist. He is building his portfolio by writing for his high school newspaper. Assigned to the sports beat by the new editor, he is disappointed, but soon discovers a mystery surrounding one of the high school football players. If Mitch can sniff out the details, there could be a huge story involved with his name attached.Payback Time is one of Deuker's best. The play-by-play accounts of the football games went right over my head, but football aficionados will love it. The story is told in Mitch's voice. a fairly typical high school senior who has a goal and is dogged in his pursuit of it. As his story evolves, he realizes that every story has two sides and sometimes there are consequences when the "truth" comes out.Teenagers should enjoy the action and suspense. This one entertains until the very last page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the book entitled "Payback Time" is book that allows teenagers to relate to the main character of this  book. One of the main characters in "Payback Time" is Mitch. Mitch is the high school journalist for his school, and he started to do close looks at his schools varsity football team. He noticed something suspicious about Angel Marichal who is the corner back for the varsity football.  team.  Mitch wondered around Angel, the mysterious football player that seem a bit too old and is sensational. When the mystery is solved, and the worst happens, it's up to Mitch to see what kind of person Angel really is and try to help fix the conflict he created.         I think that this book she be recommended to all teenagers or young adults that has the passion  of playing sports of all kinds because in the book "Payback Time" tells a message that can help you get somewhere in life. It also states what to do and what not to do when your stuck in a big conflict and don't know your way out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I friggin love thi book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book i wou recommend it to any sports fan or if you just want a good mystery! Happy New Year!! #2014
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