Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist

•Finalist, South Carolina Book Award 2011-2012

•New York State Reading Association Recommended List

Scholastic Reading Counts™ title
Accelerated Reader™



Sam, the focal point of the novel as well as the team’s offense, loves being the star of his team, but, believably, he loves how the team works together even more. Aside from padding the story with plenty of walloping gridiron action that will ring true to football enthusiasts, Bowen generates some unexpectedly potent drama out of the team members coming to their decision about the fifth down. Purposeful about honesty and sportsmanship, yes, but this book is still a great choice to hand off to readers who’d rather be tossing pigskins than flipping pages. — Ian Chipman

School Library Journal:

Bowen uses historical events—a game between Cornell and Dartmouth played in 1940—to anchor the plot realistically. This device will resonate with readers as it imparts an actual dilemma and conclusion without moralistic advice. They will feel the players' emotions when the Cowboys have to make an important decision… This book can be used as an excellent opportunity for a group discussion. — Blair Chrisolon

Touchdown Trouble

Available in paperback and E-book.

The Story

Sam is 12 years old and a star player on an awesome team: the Cowboys. His teammates always pull together and play to win. Their effort pays off big-time when they beat their arch rival in a hard-fought game. But their celebration doesn’t last long. Sam makes a discovery that threatens their victory and their team spirit. Can Sam keep the Cowboys together or will his discovery destroy the team?

The History

In 1940, Cornell University beat Dartmouth College in a hard-fought football game. But Cornell’s celebration didn’t last long; something wasn’t right in that game either. Then the Cornell players made a decision that earned them the title “Men of Honor.” An author’s note at the end of Touchdown Trouble tells the story of the game and the Cornell players’ surprising move.