The cover of this seems too young, because this was a great football book. Had enough action on the field to draw in the sports fans, plus enough social interaction to keep me interested. I bought this one without reading it and then had a copy donated-- both have circulated well. A student recently asked if this was a series, and this would not be a bad starting point. My only objection would be that Joey is involved in so many things that his character is a little unfocused. Simplify his life a tiny bit, and this would be a great idea.
Speaking of covers, I just got a paperback copy of Nancy Werlin's great Rules of Survival (reviewed here October 25, 2006), and think the new cover is great. Clean, clear and utterly disturbing. I don't know if the children will understand the significance of a cereal bowl full of glass shards, but I love it.
Also feel compelled to mention that book two of Frank Peretti's Veritas Project: The Nightmare Academy, glows in the dark. This wasn't quite as much fun as my son, when he was three, realizing that the Darth Vader on his underwear glowed in the dark, but it did amuse me yesterday morning.