King of Pop by Gordon Korman

February 3rd, 2010 by Brian Leave a reply »

I love that Gordon Korman can switch between books like the 39 Clues series and then give us a book like Pop.

Pop is the story of Marcus, a high schooler who is new to a small town and is trying to make it as quarterback of the undefeated football team. That story, in and of itself, has been told many times before.

But what makes Pop stand out is Charlie Popovich, an ex-NFL defensive player who befriends Marcus. Marcus is weirded out by the sudden camaraderie and investigates to find that this football player, the King of Pop, had a series of concussions that has messed with his mind. Marcus must navigate this friendship carefully, especially since Troy Popovich is the current star quarterback of the team.

Most of the action takes place off of the field. Charlie likes to pull pranks and leaves Marcus to take the blame, creating a detailed police record for Marcus. Marcus tries to convince the town that he’s a decent person without giving away Charlie’s secret.

The football games do have their exciting moments, but the games fly by very quickly. I think that students who enjoy sports books will still enjoy seeing another side of the sport. Make sure to sell the book to them with the knowledge that it’s about the game and Gordon Korman knows the game.

Like any Gordon Korman book, even if you’re not the biggest football fan you’ll find a character that you can relate to and enjoy reading about.


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