Summer Reading for Middle- and High-School Sports Fans: Gritty New Football Fiction by Triad Author Will Make Them Want to Read

(Last Updated On: June 29, 2017)

June 28, 2007 (Winston-Salem, NC) – Just in time for summer football camps, a new sports novel for middle- and high-school sports fans will give camp-goers something to do during downtime. For all football fans who love the game whether they play/played or notLife on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption could go to the top of their summer reading lists.

Adult readers have also expressed enthusiasm about the book, especially the realistic treatment of the football scenes.

“It took me back to my days as a player,” said Shaw Smith, a charter member of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Club Football program. “I could taste the dirt in my mouth, feel the sting of sweat in my eyes, rejoice in the beauty and violence of the game.”

The Battle of the Century

As a football book written to appeal primarily to teenage boys and girls, including teenagers who don’t usually like to read, Life on the Line is full of play-by-play action during grueling practices and often bloody games. It follows the lives of two teenage boys in 1965 after they meet on the football practice field:  Bart Wagram, who struggles in school, hates his stepmother, and has a body made for the violence of football; and Franklin Gibson, who is smart, polite, and the son of a local banker. Franklin is just beginning to mature, but under Bart’s verbal and physical abuse, he gets tough very quickly.

The conflict between Franklin and Bart simmers while they lead their team towards an undefeated season for the first time in a generation. Following a concussion for one boy and a death in the family for the other, their hatred finally explodes in The Battle of the Century.

“Football Is a Great Game”

North Carolina-based author Frank McNair played football in high school (and was “lightly recruited” by universities, he notes). An alumnus of both UNC-Chapel Hill (undergraduate) and Wake Forest University (grad school), he has always been passionate about the game.

“Football is a great game for learning many lessons,” McNair says on the book’s website, “It taught me — a weepy, chunky, clumsy, poet of a kid — to get up when life knocks you down. And it teaches teamwork in a way that most games can’t. Where else do 11 people have to do exactly what they are supposed to do, at exactly the same time, to have success? But it is violent, and the potential for injury is very real.

“The story is built around football,” he continues, “but it encompasses family and faith, loss and love, and the ultimate reconciliation of two teenage boys who, on the face of it, have very little in common.”

Speaking to parents and teachers, McNair stresses, “This is the sort of sports book that will resonate with teenagers – especially teenage boys — who love football but think they hate to read. If you can get them into the first chapter, I think they’ll be hooked.”

Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, published by Bagpiper Press (May 18, 2017), is now available on Amazon in paperback for $14.99. The hardback and Kindle versions will be available soon. The book is also on Facebook and Goodreads.

Review copies are available by emailing publicist Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR:

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About The Author:

Frank McNair graduated from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar. After a brief stint in banking, he entered the MBA program at Wake Forest University, graduating in 1978. For a decade he held a range of sales and marketing positions in the corporate world. In 1988, he joined his wife, Laura, in her consulting and training business. They have been business partners in McNair & McNair for 30 years. Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption is his fourth book and first work of fiction. He has also published three popular business-related books: The Golden Rules for ManagersHow You Make the Sale, and It’s OK To Ask ‘Em To Work. He and Laura and their chocolate lab Buddy Brown live in Winston-Salem, NC. Contact Frank McNair: 336.972.3024.