Go Long! (Barber Game Time)

by Tiki and Ronde Barber (Author)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

It's Tiki and Ronde's second year on their junior high school football team, the Hidden Valley Eagles. The eighth-grade season is here, and the boys have come together as a team. Now key starters, Tiki and Ronde are ready for a great season, and with hard work and determination, maybe they will even go all the way to the State Championship!

But when Coach Spangler announces that he has been asked to move up to the high school team, and Mr. Wheeler, the science teacher, is tapped for the head coaching job, the season seems over before it begins. Sure, Coach Wheeler played college football until he was benched by an injury, but it just isn't the same. Tiki wants to give Coach Wheeler a chance, yet the team's loyalties are divided. What does a science teacher know about the game of football? Can the team work together, get behind their new coach, and play smart?

Inspired by the childhood of NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber, Go Long! is a story of teamwork, perseverance, and what it takes to be a champion.

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School Library Journal

Gr 4-8 Ronde and Tiki Barber are entering eighth grade and ready to defend their school's title as football division champs. Unfortunately, their beloved coach announces that he has accepted a job at the nearby high school. On top of that, their quarterback is dividing the team with his hotdogging antics and insults. The Barber twins are convinced that, if they can get the team to listen to their new coach, they can salvage the season. The authors are NFL players and know a thing or two about football. Unfortunately, this novel uses terminology that may be too complex for all but the most passionate fans of the game. A glossary is included, but a solid familiarity with terms and rules is still necessary or kids will be left behind. An adult sensibility prevails: a former teammate declares that a player is "just immature. I was the same way in seventh grade." On the same note, in the midst of training, Tiki has an inner monologue about how lucky he is "in the mom department" — what 13-year-old thinks about that during football practice? This book will circulate based on the subject, the authors' popularity, and the snazzy cover. However, it will satisfy only the most avid football fans. - Laura Lutz, Queens Borough Public Library, NY

Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Tiki and Ronde Barber
Ronde Barber is a record-holding cornerback who retired after fifteen seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is one of only two cornerbacks selected to the Pro Bowl five times. He is married with two daughters.

Tiki Barber is a record-holding retired running back for the New York Giants. He married and is the father of four children.

Paul Mantell is the author of more than 100 books for young readers, including books in the Hardy Boys and Matt Christopher series.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date
August 20, 2008
Barber Game Time
BISAC categories
JUV039000 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | General
JUV013070 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
JUV032030 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Football
Library of Congress categories
Football stories
Barber, Ronde
Barber, Tiki

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