Go Long! is a Touchdown

Barber brothers' book based on childhood

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Go Long!
By Tiki and Ronde Barber with Paul Mantell
Published by Simon and Schuster for Young Readers
150 pages
Age range: 9-12 year olds


Football season is at its annual apex. Super Bowl Sunday is February 7 with the New Orleans Saints going up against the Indianapolis Colts to determine this season's champion team.

With that in mind, the Scholastic Kids Press Corps read the book Go Long!, written by professional football players and identical twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber.

The fictional story is about a junior high school football team that loses its beloved Coach Spangler to a high school team. They also lose their all-star quarterback Matt Clayton.  

The school replaces Spangler with science teacher Sam Wheeler. The whole team is upset because the players don't think Wheeler can help the team win.

Rookie quarterback Cody Hansen is put in to replace Clayton. Turns out, Cody is not much of a team player. When Cody makes mistakes, he blames his teammates. He also gets sassy with Coach Wheeler, who benches him.

Tiki and Rhonde try to rally the team to victory by getting their teammates to give the new coach a chance.

At the next practice, Cody gets a talk from Wheeler. After the talk with his coach, Cody realizes that there is more to football than the quarterback.

What's interesting in this story is how all the players, from Cody to Tiki to Rhonde, are able to change the outcome of the season by changing their attitudes toward the coach and each other.  

The football sequences in the book are very realistic and fun to read.  And knowing that the authors of this book are both former and current NFL players makes it a real treat for football fans.

If you have any interest in football—or even in teamwork—you will enjoy this book. And you'll learn something about football. The book includes a list of definitions for all of the football plays mentioned.

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Scholastic Kids Press Corps

The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of 32 student reporters who report "news for kids, by kids." Sports, politics, and entertainment are among the topics they cover.