Author: Cisneros, Ernesto
Best friends Isaac and Marco already know sixth grade is going to change their lives. But it won't change things at home-not without each other's help. Star basketball player Isaac plans on finally keeping up with his schoolwork. Straight-A Marco vows on finally winning his father's approval by earning a spot on the school's basketball team. Will their friendship and support for each other be enough to keep the two boys from falling short?
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 514934
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/22)
School Library Journal (+) (01/01/22)
The Hornbook (00/03/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2022 Gr 4–7—Marco Honeyman and Isaac Castillo are next-door neighbors and best friends, despite their apparent differences: Jewish-Mexican Marco is small and book-smart, while Isaac, who is also Latinx, is a gifted and hard-working basketball player who struggles to manage his homework. Part of Marco and Isaac's bond is their desire for approval from their divorced parents. Isaac hopes his mom won't give up on him the way she gave up on his dad because of his drinking, and Marco wishes his dad would come back and be proud of him. When they enter middle school, Marco and Isaac stand by each other, despite different classes and friend groups. When Marco decides to try out for the baseketball team to impress his father (despite never playing before), Isaac coaches him. The boys' bond of friendship is the core of the story; they have honest conversations, admire each other's good qualities, and support each other through anxiety attacks and family problems. After a tough tournament game, Isaac concludes, "Life is like a game of basketball…it pretty much comes down to the hustle we put in." VERDICT At every turn, Isaac and Marco support each other in this affirming story of basketball, middle school, friendship, and family, and choosing kindness and determination over easy cowardice or cruelty. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.—Jenny Arch - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2022 From Pura Belpré Award–winning author Cisneros comes a touching new novel about expectations. Marco and Isaac are best friends who are complete opposites. Marco is short, excels academically, and is bad at sports. Isaac is tall and athletic, but he struggles in school. Now that they’re starting middle school, Marco decides to join the basketball team in the hopes that it will draw his father back into his life. Isaac wants to improve his grades so his parents will have one less thing to worry about during their separation period. Together, the boys will attempt to navigate middle school and their own personal family issues, all while trying to avoid falling short of their goals and success. In this novel told through the alternating points of view of both protagonists, readers will closely follow the struggles and insecurities both characters experience while also observing a beautiful and endearing friendship. Cisneros has once again written an inspiring story that will have an immense emotional effect on all who read it. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
Booklist - 02/15/2022 - Copyright 2022 Booklist.