The Extra Yard
Last spring Teddy’s life changed for the better. He started working out, shaping up, and even earned a spot on the Walton baseball team, and with the team he went all the way to the Little League World Series. But the best things to come out of that season were his friendships with Jack, Cassie, and Gus, and the confidence to finally try out for the sport he really loves—football. So when eighth grade begins, Teddy couldn’t be more psyched.
Until his mom drops a bomb: his father—who left them a long time ago—is back in Walton and back in their lives. And Teddy isn’t happy about it. As a former star football player at the school, Teddy’s dad is thrilled to find out his son is going out for the team, but Teddy begins to wonder if his father only cares about him now because he’s putting on the helmet. Can Teddy find a way to go the extra yard for the team and for himself, or is the distance between him and his father too much to overcome?
- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers |
- 304 pages |
- ISBN 9781481410021 |
- January 2016 |
- Grades 3 - 7
Hear an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide
A Home Team Novel: The Extra Yard
By Mike Lupica
About the Book
Teddy used to think of himself as “the funny, out-of-shape loser.” Now that he’s become friends with Jack and started playing sports, his self-confidence has soared. He’s psyched to play middle school football with Jack as quarterback. But when Jack gets injured, is Teddy ready to step in as QB? Meanwhile, Teddy’s father has returned after years of absence. Teddy’s not sure he can forgive him for being gone, but it’s hard to resist his father’s excellent football advice. Teddy will always go the extra yard for his team. Will he do the same for his father and let him make up for the past?
1. Where does the story take place? How important is the setting? If the author changed the town or state, how much would it affect the story?
2. Describe Teddy’s character and how he changes during the novel. Talk about Teddy’s fears and how he overcomes some of them. Jack says about Teddy: “I always thought there was a warrior waiting to break out.” What does he mean?
3. Teddy reflects that, “If you thought of yourself in a certain way long enough—the way Teddy used to think of himself as the funny, out-of-shape loser—you finally just became that kid.” An see more