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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Summer Ball by Mike Lupica

Mike Lupica is a favorite among my students who are sports fans, so I try to pick up as many of his books as I can. Summer Ball, his follow up to Travel Team is sure to be another winner with these students, and will surely capture the attention of others who haven’t “met” this author yet.

Summary: Danny Walker & his friends from Travel Team are back, fresh from their national championship win. It’s summertime, and Danny, Will, & Ty are headed off to one of the top-ranked basketball camps. Danny is nervous – he knows that his notoriety will make him a target at a camp that will host many of the country’s best ball players. Despite his love of the game, he would almost rather stay home, where things seem perfect now that his parents are back together and his Dad has landed a job coaching at a local school.

When Danny gets to camp, all his worst fears seem to be coming true – his old rival, Rasheem, is there with an even more odious wingman, his coach seems to be holding a grudge against Danny’s dad that he is making Danny suffer for, and Danny finds himself standing up for another little guy with big talent.

Danny’s challenges, as in Travel Team, are faced head on with the help of his friends (old & new), the advice of his Dad, and the support of his Mom. The action is big, and the reader can truly visualize the games being played out within the story. New characters Zach, Lamar, and Coach Ed add new dimensions to this story and keep it from simply being a rehash of Travel Team.


Age Appropriateness:
Grades 4 & up

Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: very mild

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