Renowned sports journalist and New York Times–bestselling author John Feinstein’s young adult novel Backfield Boys follows best friends and football stars Jason Roddin and Tom Jefferson, a perfect, though unconventional, pair: Jason, the Jewish kid, is lightning fast and a natural wide-receiver, while African-American Tom has an amazing arm and a quarterback’s feel for the game. After summer football camp at an elite sports-focused boarding school, the boys are thrilled to enroll on scholarship for their freshman year - despite their mothers' fears of injury and especially CTE.
On day one, they’re stunned when the coaches make Tom a receiver and Jason a quarterback, a complete contradiction to their skill sets and training. Suspecting deep-seated racial bias, the boys speak out, risking both their scholarships and their chance to play. Soon local newspaper reports begin a secret investigation, and as tensions rise Jason and Tom must decide how much they're willing to lose in their quest to expose the ugly remnants of a racist past that still linger in contemporary jock culture.
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