Have you ever wished you were a really good quarter back? Did you ever dream of making a million dollar throw? Well in this book, Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica, Nate “Brady” Brodie gets the chance to do just that. He gets his opportunity to win one million dollars during halftime of a New England Patriots contest Thanksgiving Night. Nate is thirteen and plays football for the Valley Patriots. One day, after saving up money, he goes to a store called “sports stuff”.
There he finds a football signed by Tom Brady, New England Patriots QB, after he buys it he sees a poster about the football game on Thanksgiving. During halftime he will have a chance to throw a football from thirty yards away at a 20 inch hole. If he makes it he gets one million dollars. With his dad getting laid off from his job and the family possibly having to sell their house, Nate really wants to win the million dollars, but he also learns that his best friend Abby is going blind.
Will Nate win the million dollars? If he does, will he choose to cure Abby’s blindness or will he choose his family? Abby’s family is going through some hard times just like Nate’s family. Her father just lost his job and his health insurance. Everything about Brodie revolves around his love of football, the New England Patriots and his idol, Tom Brady. This book takes place in Valley, Mass. , with Brodie as the quarterback of his Valley squad, looking to earn an eighth-grade football title.
This story weaves real-life into it’s story that will hit home with a lot of people. While Brodie appears as a can’t-miss quarterback for his Valley squad, the Brodie family is struggling. The family’s house is up for sale after his father lost his job with a large real estate firm and his mom is back to work. Before the story concludes, both parents are working two jobs before more bad news befalls the family. Nate meets and falls for Abby McCall, the coolest and prettiest eighth-grade girl in Valley.
She enjoys football, is a talented artist, but is also in trouble. She is suffering from a form of retinitis pigmentosa which is a disease that will cause her to eventually lose her eyesight. Despite the loss of his father’s primary job, a promise was made by Brodie’s parents to support him halfway to the gift of his dreams, an autographed Tom Brady football at the local sports store. After Brodie shells out his $500 purchase he becomes eligible to enter a drawing for the million-dollar throw.
After the drawing is made official, the local quarterback becomes a national superstar with interviews on national television and Sports Illustrated. It also becomes a burden to the youngster, becoming fully aware of what the prize money could mean for his family. A 30-yard throw through a 21-inch hole in front of a national audience in his favorite football stadium carries enough stress with it, but like many pro athletes, Brodie gets a case of the jitters when it matters most.
Brodie’s journey also includes him losing his throwing touch during the playoff run with his Valley team, getting benched, finding out Abby plans to move away to a school for the blind and more. It is a story of life, highs, lows and setbacks. This book doesn’t have any negative mature subjects and allows Brodie to get his million-dollar shot along with the potential glory that could go with it. In the end he does make the million dollar throw and has some big decisions to make with the money.