The Extra Yard

The Extra Yard

(Part of Home Team)
For Ages: 8 - 12
Teddy, a young football player, learns that sometimes bridging the distance in your family can be harder than stretching for an extra yard on the field in the second book of the Home Team series from New York Times bestselling author and sports-writing legend Mike Lupica.

Last spring Teddy’s life changed for the better. He started working out, shaping up, and even earned a spot on the Walton baseball team, that went all the way to the Little League World Series. But the best things to come out of that season were his friendships with Jack, Cassie, and Gus, and the confidence to finally try out for the sport he really loves—football. So when eighth grade begins, Teddy couldn’t be more psyched.

Until his mom drops a bomb: his father—who left them a long time ago—is back in Walton and back in their lives. And Teddy isn’t happy about it. As a former star football player at the school, Teddy’s dad is thrilled to find out his son is going out for the team, but Teddy begins to wonder if his father only cares about him now because he’s putting on the helmet. Can Teddy find a way to go the extra yard for the team and for himself, or is the distance between him and his father too much to overcome?
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481410014 | 
  • April 2017 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile ® 780L
List Price $7.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

A Home Team Novel: The Extra Yard

By Mike Lupica


About the Book

Teddy used to think of himself as “the funny, out-of-shape loser.” Now that he’s become friends with Jack and started playing sports, his self-confidence has soared. He’s psyched to play middle school football with Jack as quarterback. But when Jack gets injured, is Teddy ready to step in as QB? Meanwhile, Teddy’s father has returned after years of absence. Teddy’s not sure he can forgive him for being gone, but it’s hard to resist his father’s excellent football advice. Teddy will always go the extra yard for his team. Will he do the same for his father and let him make up for the past?

Discussion Questions

1. Where does the story take place? How important is the setting? If the author changed the town or state, how much would it affect the story?

2. Describe Teddy’s character and how he changes during the novel. Talk about Teddy’s fears and how he overcomes some of them. Jack says about Teddy: “I always thought there was a warrior waiting to break out.” What does he mean? 

3. Teddy reflects that, “If you thought of yourself in a certain way long enough—the way Teddy used to think of himself as the funny, out-of-shape loser—you finally just became that kid.” An see more

More Books from this Author

The Home Team Collection
Team Players
Point Guard
The Only Game

About the Author

Mike Lupica
Photo by Taylor McKelvy Lupica

Mike Lupica

Mike Lupica is the author of multiple bestselling books for young readers, including the Home Team series, QB 1HeatTravel TeamMillion-Dollar Throw, and The Underdogs. He has carved out a niche as the sporting world’s finest storyteller. Mike lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children. When not writing novels, he writes for Daily News (New York) and is an award-winning sports commentator. You can visit Mike Lupica at