07. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction · Tags: ,

Athlete vs. Mathlete: Double Dribble by W. C. Mack, 192 pages, read by Angie, on 11/06/2013

Owen and Russ have always been the only twins around. Even though they don’t look alike or act alike or like the same things, they are still the twins. Then the Matthews twins move to town. They are everything Owen and Russ are not. They are identical in every way: they dress alike, look alike, have the same interests and even finish each others sentences. They are completely ensink on the basketball court where they are dominating the team. Owen is very jealous that he is not the star player anymore and that his friends/teammates are idolizing the twins. Russ isn’t really happy about it either, but he is more willing to give them a chance.

I almost didn’t finish this one. Just seemed so clunky and hard to read. Maybe if I had read the first book in the series I would have been more invested, but I didn’t. So I thought Owen was a real jerk and completely unlikeable. I thought the storyline was totally improbable and the Matthews twins almost impossible. The conflict did seem real if overblown, but the reactions of the kids was just kind of crazy. I also thought the ending was too hurried and perfect. Not really a book I would recommend.

10. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction · Tags:

The Underdogs by Mike Lupica , 280 pages, read by Angie, on 09/09/2012

Will lives for football; he is a football star. Unfortunately his town, Forbes, PA, is running out of money and decides they can’t fund the football team this year. Forbes has seen better days; the Forbes Flyers shoe factory has gone out of business and taken all the jobs with it. People are moving away and the town is slowly dying. Will writes to New Balance and asks them to sponsor the team; and of course they do. Now he just has to get a team together. He convinces his dad, former football player sidelined for a knee injury, to coach the team. Unfortunately, he only has 10 players. He recruits new girl Hannah and bullied by his father Toby to join. All Will wants is a chance to beat the Castle Rock team in the championship.

This book is about football; I know nothing about football nor do I really want to. So all the passages describing plays and the games went right over my head. I am sure for people who follow football this was a fantastic portion of the book. I enjoyed this book even with the football. It was a little predictable: Will is a football genius, New Balance actually funds the team and the CEO comes to the championship, they silence Toby’s bullying dad by making him assistant coach, the whole town comes out to support them, etc. All things you would expect; there were very few surprises in this book. However, I am not sure kids will care. This is a quick read with lots of sports action. The characters are likeable and you really do root for the team even though you know they are going to win.