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Children's Fiction Football

First and Ten

by (author) Jeff Rud

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2007
Football, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Parents
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2007
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2001
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Trying to land a spot on the South Side Middle School football team isn't the biggest challenge Matt Hill faces in the third installment of this popular series. Besides catching passes and dodging defenders, Matt also has to deal with the return of his estranged father following a ten-year absence. But while Matt comes to grips with forgiving his father and gets used to having him around, he must also help a teammate deal with the damage inflicted by his own overbearing and sometimes violent dad.Full of the exciting sports action that marked the first two volumes of the South Side Sports series, First and Ten is a tale of choices made and lessons learned, both on and off the field.

About the author


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books

Editorial Reviews

"Even reluctant young adult male readers will keep turning the pages."

Resource Links

"For sports enthusiasts it is a very good read...A refreshing change from books written entirely from the perspective and in the vocabulary of an illiterate protagonist. Recommended."

CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

First and Ten

This is Jeff Rud’s third book in the South Side Sports series. Football is the focal action to this high-interest book for boys. However, the theme is more complex. Matt faces complicated adolescent moral decisions both on and off the field. His father has unexpectedly returned after a ten-year absence, and now Matt wrestles with forgiving his father and building a new relationship with him. In addition, Matt finds himself involuntarily involved with a teammate’s problem of parental verbal and physical abuse. He has some tough decisions to make. Will his actions be the correct ones?

Jeff Rud was a sports writer and columnist at various newspapers in Western Canada. He is now a reporter for the Victoria Times Colonist and an author of eight sports-related books.

Caution: includes some mild profanity

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

First and Ten (South Side Sports)

Besides catching passes and dodging defenders, Matt has to deal with the return of his estranged father and drama on and off the field. Book Three in the series.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Jeff Rud