By: Dilan M
I think Fantasy League was one of Mike Lupica’s best books. It had me hooked to the very end, and it was so compelling and interesting. I would recommend it to people that like realistic fiction, sports fiction, and books by Tim Green. I really like this book because there’s many different things going on at once, and it feels like real life. Mike Lupica zooms in on the less glorified, yet still important aspects of football, and goes inside 12-year-old Charlie’s mind. Charlie learns to love Joe Warren, who is getting older and sicker, and he wants the Bulldogs to make it this year… for Joe, who will finally see his team that he’s had complete faith in from day one succeed.
The story is about a boy named Charlie Gaines, who is a football nerd. He loves everything about the game and is the king of fantasy football. He notices stuff about the game that others don’t, and he loves the game more than anything else. When his best friend Anna convinces him to start a podcast about his fantasy football picks and ideas, it blows up into something huge, and soon Charlie is a celebrity. Anna’s grandfather owns the LA Bulldogs, an extension team that was trying to bring back football to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, they lack skill and are the butt of every football joke. But Charlie and Anna love the Bulldogs, so when Charlie convinces Joe Warren, Anna’s grandfather, to take a chance on Tom Pinkett, who many people believed is washed up, the Bulldogs, for the first time ever, have a chance of making it to the playoffs. Joe Warren and Charlie become good friends, and they talk about familiar ground, football. Charlie becomes the center of media attention, and soon all the fame starts to get to his head. He suggests Jack Sutton, the retired actor who got into a lot of trouble back when he was in the league. At first he didn't play well. He had surgery on his knee so he’s not as good as he was, and he’s just coming back for the first time. But after glimpses of his old self, he comes back, and Tom and Jack lead the Bulldogs to the playoffs. Problems start to come up when all the fame gets to Charlie and he becomes egotistical, and has a fallout with Anna. Also, Matt Warren, the Bulldog’s general manager, as well as Joe Warren’s son and Anna’s uncle, is convinced that Charlie is taking his job.