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Author: Terrell, Brandon
Ben rides the bench until Wes gets benched for poor grades, and Ben is thrust into the spotlight.
Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 141377
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
School Library Journal (07/01/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2011 Wes Blake and Ben Paulson play on their middle-school football team, the Hawks. Wes is the star quarterback, and Ben is the backup, who usually sits on the bench. When Wes fails his algebra exam, the teacher has him suspended from the team until he improves his grade, which means Ben, who gets good grades but lacks athletic confidence, must play. After the team suffers a humiliating loss, Wes decides that Ben should help him study algebra, and he can help Ben practice football. Even when Wes does well enough to play again, the next big game, against a very tough team, will need both boys. This graphic novel, part of the Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels series, provides football action in a story that promotes cooperation on and off the field without being too preachy. Sandoval’s quirky but dynamic art shows manga influences. The book includes a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Readers should also pay attention to the little ticker-tape commentary at the bottom of the pages. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2011 Gr 3–6—Standard sports clichés play out in both titles. In Hoop Rat, Griffin Henshaw, 14, joins the Spartans but doesn't receive a warm welcome—he's the former captain of the archrival Goliaths, and his new teammates wonder where his true allegiance lies. In Scramble, reluctant backup QB Ben Paulson, 14, must step into the big shoes of suspended golden boy Wes Blake. Both books build tension, leading to high-pressure games at their climaxes. Brisk pacing should keep readers interested, but the stories have fairly abrupt conclusions. Themes of self-confidence, loyalty, and friendship come across loud and clear. Characters are flat, with a minimum of development. Design plays a key role, as each book opens with an ESPN-style "special report" featuring main character bios and a "ticker" at the bottom of the page. The stylized, vaguely anime-inspired art employs bright colors and dramatic shifts in perspective to keep the excitement high. While both titles have generic plots, sports-loving reluctant readers will likely be sucked in.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.