Speed Demon

Speed Demon

Fred Bowen


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A high school athlete must choose between track and football in this novel—perfect for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green—by the author of Perfect Game.

Ninth-grader Tim Beeman is eager to find his place at his elite new school. When he breaks the record for the fifty-yard dash during the first week of classes, he reveals his special talent: speed. Before long, the track and football teams are both urging him to join their ranks. But where will he feel most comfortable, and be able to put his running skills to best use?

Tim is torn. He would definitely be an asset to the track team, but he’s drawn to the more prestigious football program. He’s eager to join such a popular group and feels he has a lot to offer them, but he can’t shake a lingering fear of being injured. How can Tim make the most of his talents and at the same time satisfy his own needs?

In Speed Demon, Fred Bowen, author and Washington Post KidsPost sports columnist, tackles relatable dual-athlete issues like making choices and maintaining friendships, meanwhile offering a serious exploration of the topic of player safety.

Discussion Guide available


Fred Bowen:
Fred Bowen was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a seaside town north of Boston. Most of his family still lives there—he has four big brothers and two sisters.
His dad loved sports. One of Bowen’s earliest memories is watching the 1957 World Series on TV with his dad and his brothers. Bowen’s dad was his Little League coach and his brothers were his teammates in backyard football and “driveway basketball.”
When Bowen turned eighteen, he left behind his sports-happy childhood and headed to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Bowen has always loved US and world history and he made history his major in college. Bowen also loves sports history because of all the great dramas and big personalities, which is why he weaves real sports history into all of his stories.
After he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, he went to George Washington Law School in Washington, DC.
Shortly after he graduated, he met Peggy Jackson, a journalist. They got married two years later and now have two grown children. Their son is a college baseball coach and their daughter works for a nonprofit in Chicago. When they were in elementary school, Bowen coached their baseball, basketball, and soccer teams—more than thirty teams in all.
Bowen was a lawyer for many years and retired from practicing law so that he could write for kids full time. He gets to spend a lot more time writing and he gets more time to visit schools and talk with kids about his books. He also speaks at a lot more conferences and meets more cool teachers and librarians.