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Time for the Turkey Bowl!

Pumpkin pie lovers of the nation rejoice—Thanksgiving is only a few days away! This Thursday, people across the country will be enjoying a day of family, feasting, and of course football. Thanksgiving Day football games have been a tradition in America for over a century. Yale and Princeton universities have played each other on Thanksgiving since 1876, and there are high schools across the country with Thanksgiving Day rivalries stretching back as far as the 1880s. Despite football’s prominent association with Thanksgiving, I’ve seen few children’s books that focus on this aspect of the holiday. That’s why I was so excited to read Turkey Bowl.

Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by C. F. Payne, Turkey Bowl tells the story of Ethan, a boy who wants nothing more than to play in his family’s annual Turkey Bowl football game. Despite the extreme weather of years past—from cold and frost to rain and mud to fog so thick it even obscured the goal post—Ethan’s family members have always held their Turkey Bowl, and Ethan has always been too young to play. But not this time! After years of waiting, Ethan is finally old enough to join the fun, and no matter how cold or muddy or foggy it is outside, he is determined to play his heart out. One thing he didn’t count on, however, was a blizzard ruining everything. With no extended family coming to his house for the holiday and a fresh coat of snow on the field, prospects for this year’s Bowl look grim. Can Ethan save the game and Thanksgiving itself? Read Turkey Bowl and find out! Available in Lucky November, Turkey Bowl is a charming story that reminds us that with all the football, friends, family, and food, you’d have to be crazy not to be thankful for Turkey Day (unless you’re a turkey, of course).

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November 19, 2012