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Author: Green, Tim
A troubled kid finds his bearings in a new school after a baseball coach offers him a spot on the team.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 166034
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 63493
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/14)
School Library Journal (02/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (03/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2014 Gr 5–8—After hitting a two-run homer in the third inning that ties the championship game, Tommy Rust finds himself at bat, poised to bring in the game-winning run. Then his dad shows up and Tommy knows he's not there to watch the big game. It's time to run. For as long as Tommy can remember, this is how they live- going from town to town, always under a different name. By the time Tommy and his dad reach their destination, a little town in Upstate New York, he has memorized his new name, Brock Nickerson, and managed to push down his anger at being uprooted yet again. In an attempt to fit in at his new school, Brock accepts a dare and throws a rock through Coach Hudgens's window. The Coach, admiring Brock's throwing arm, offers a ticket out of trouble: he wants Brock to join the travel team. Brock and the Coach are compelling and sympathetically drawn characters. Brock's dad is not as fleshed out and comes across as inconsistent. While the baseball action is engaging, the mystery surrounding the father and what he does for a living is never fully explained. This lack of resolution may hint at future installments.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2014 Tommy Rust is just about to make a critical play when his father tears up to the baseball field in their car, packs Tommy in, and drives off to a new town. This isn’t the first time such a departure has occurred, and Tommy knows the drill: assume a new name—this time he chooses Brock Nickerson—and lay low in their new digs. Cruising below the radar isn’t easy this time around, since Brock is befriended by bad boy Nagel, is wooed onto a travel team by his middle school’s alcoholic coach, catches the eye of coach’s niece, and finally works up the courage to confront and even defy his commanding father. Make no mistake, though, this is still solidly within Green’s familiar sports territory, and Brock grows into a promising pitcher even as he struggles to get his father to explain their bizarre situation. Witness in protection? Good guy secret agent? Bad guy thug? Readers are as confounded as Brock about his father’s situation and his real status, and it is this ambiguity that elevates the title from the mundane to the engrossing. A bittersweet ending that diverges from the pattern of middle-grade sports plots will shake series fiction readers out of their comfort zone and ready them for the challenging work of YA sports writers awaiting them down the line. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.