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Author: Green, Tim
When Joey has to compete with his best friend, Zach, for a single spot on an elite baseball team, he is forced to decide how far he is willing to go to win.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 157101
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 60143
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/13)
School Library Journal (03/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 Gr 4–6—Sixth-graders Joey and Zach share a dream: after the Little League championships, they'll get chosen for the all-stars and, from there, the Center State Select team. The friends are so focused on their goal that Joey comes up with the idea of tampering with their teacher's pickup truck to prevent Mr. Kratz from taking the class on an extra-credit field trip that would keep Zach from participating in the championship game. That action haunts Joey for much of the story, especially since his mom is a sheriff's deputy with an uncanny ability to sniff out the truth. Exhausted and riddled with guilt and worry, he flubs the championship, and, ironically, only Zach is chosen for the all-stars. Joey gets a second chance when one of the players has to back out. Even though his mom is unrelenting in her investigation, Joey begins to believe Zach's prediction that things are going to work out. They are floored when Coach tells them that there is only one open infielder spot on the team. Suddenly, the dynamics of their friendship change, and that change is magnified when Joey discovers that the girl he likes has cast him aside for Zach. The choices that Joey ultimately makes, the realistic portrayal of friendship lost and later restored, and the abundant baseball action guarantee that this book will find wide appeal among Green's many fans.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2013 Green stirs together guilt, baseball, and sharp competition between friends in his latest sports novel. To get a field trip canceled in order togive his buddy Zach a chance to try out with him for a Little League all-star team, Joey vandalizes a teacher’s car. He’s then faced with the double struggle of having to play like a star against increasingly talented opponents and keeping his secret from his mother—a smart, relentless police officer. Featuring plenty of on-field action, the tale rises on twin tides of physical and psychological suspense to a climax in which Joey and Zach find themselves competing for a single spot on a select team. The author makes one misstep by inserting a pretty, thoroughly objectified classmate solely to serve as a bone of contention between the two sixth-graders, and another by having Joey’s mother reveal she’s been testing him, waiting to see if he’d admit guilt on his own (questionable behavior for a parent). Otherwise, this is an engrossing, tightly knit tale cast in short chapters and simple language that make it suitable for reluctant readers. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.