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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Themes: baseball, peer pressure, competition
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/04/2005
Lexile Level: 940
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For as long as he can remember, Matt has wanted to play basketball. Now, as he tries out for the team at his new middle school, he realizes that the easy days of elementary ball are over and that this is a much more serious game. Dealing with a hard-driving coach, competitive teammates and his own insecurities in a new school, Matt needs to call on all his skills, both on and off the court, to make the team and keep his head above water. When he is involved, albeit unwittingly, in tagging a store with racist graffiti, Matt finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for. And when he fights back against an aggressive teammate and is threatened with suspension from the team, he learns that it is not only game-time decisions that count, but also the choices made after the crowd has gone home and the gym is silent.

Resource Links - October 1, 2006
"Author Rud's effective use of language, his understanding of young people and his appreciation of sport make this a good book for young readers, especially boys. Excellent"

Awards

CCBC Our Choice  | 2006 | Commended
ALA Popular Paperbacks   | 2008 | Long-listed

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