“Invigorating, engaging and a must read. The characters in The Gripped Series diligently tackle the essence of forces that can limit greatness within.” – LaTonya Pinkard 

On Netflix’s Emmy-winning series Last Chance U, LaTonya Pinkard (affectionately known as Ms. P by her students) is an English professor who leads a book club for the football players on the show. She helps them understand their worth, their talents, and their strengths; she helps them build their confidence in themselves and in their ability to succeed in the classroom; she inspires them to have high ambitions; she is the heart of Last Chance U seasons 3 and 4.

After reading Stacy Padula’s Gripped book series—which like Last Chance U has themes of football, empowerment, and education—she wrote the editorial review above, calling the series a “must read.”

Learn more about LaTonya Pinkard On Sports Illustrated

Learn More about the Gripped Book Series

Why Gripped?

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.