This feel-good sports story will appeal to both football fans and players who love to root for the underdog. The Underdogs has positive messages of perseverance, acceptance, triumph over adversity, and camaraderie. Football fans will enjoy the suspenseful games, play-by-play action, and football lingo. One extremely obnoxious, verbally abusive parent is tough to take and makes his son miserable, until the coach pulls him into the game as their defensive coordinator and gives him a productive place to channel his energy. The inclusion of a female on the team causes problems at first, until she proves herself as a tough and worthy teammate. The town of Forbes has been utterly devastated by the closing of a factory that provided many jobs. Families have also been fractured by the economic downturn, and divorce and single parenting are mentioned several times. The power of one person to make positive change is an important and powerful theme, one that even younger readers can appreciate. This ending may be a predictable one, but it will be thoroughly enjoyed by even reluctant readers who are looking for a quality sports story.