Mitch, an overweight senior who’s real name is Dan, wants to be the school newspaper editor and gain admission to Columbia’s journalism school. But when the editor’s position is given to someone else and Mitch is assigned as a sports reporter, he’s ready to quit. However, when a mysterious, older-looking senior joins the state-champion-contending football team, his suspicions are piqued. Is the head coach, rumor to be a cheater, using an ineligible player to win a state championship and use it as a leaping point to a more lucrative college coaching job?
Carl Deuker has done it again. Mitch is a thoughtful, likable, honest narrator, who is as truthful as he is self-deprecating. This story also takes you back to Lincoln High, the setting for Deuker’s book Runner. Payback Time is a wonderfully-crafted, tightly-written young adult novel that keeps the reader on the edge of his seat from start to finish.