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Travel Teamby Mike Lupica
Sportswriter Mike Lupica brings style to his first young-reader title about a small boy, a basketball court, and a father to live-up-to in this story that young men everywhere (and their dads) might understand all too well.
Synopses & Reviews
Twelve-year-old Danny Walker may be the smallest kid on the basketball court — but don't tell him that. Because no one plays with more heart or court sense. But none of that matters when he is cut from his local travel team, the very same team his father led to national prominence as a boy. Danny's father, still smarting from his own troubles, knows Danny isn't the only kid who was cut for the wrong reason, and together, this washed-up former player and a bunch of never-say-die kids prove that the heart simply cannot be measured.
Travel Team is an inspirational tale in the tradition of The Bad News Bears and Hoosiers. It will leave readers of all ages cheering.
"Sports columnist Lupica (Red Zone) clearly shoots from the heart in this appealing novel centering on a talented basketball player. Danny, after playing for two years for the Vikings, fails to make the seventh-grade travel team because he is 'too small.' The team is coached by the overly intense Jeff Ross who, as a boy, was always the second-best player on the Vikings — just behind Danny's father, Richie, who led the Vikings to a World Series victory. Richie went on to become an NBA star until a car accident ended his career. Now divorced from Danny's mother, the man returns to town and offers to organize and coach a second travel team, the Warriors. Lupica thus sets the scene for on-court action, and delivers play-by-play descriptions of the team practices and games that will thrill basketball buffs. The novel's emotional pitch intensifies when Richie is seriously injured in yet another car accident, Danny takes over as coach of his team, and Ross's son, Ty, the star of the Vikings, defects from his father's team to join the Warriors. Danny's budding romance with his long-time friend Tess adds a sweet, pleasingly corny sideline to the plot, which culminates with the showdown between the rival teams. To Lupica's credit, the narrative never lingers too long on the fathers' rivalry, instead keeping the focus on Danny, his teammates and his family. The novel includes some genuinely affecting moments, especially those depicting Danny's rapport with each parent. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lupica creates a sports novel that is rich in details." Todd Morning, Booklist
"A round-ball heart-warmer." Joel Shoemaker, School Library Journal
In his first novel for young readers, the author of Wild Pitch and Bump and Run tells the story of a 12-year-old Danny Walker, the smallest kid on the basketball court who's cut from the very travel team his father led to national prominence as a boy.
Lupica's "New York Times" #1 bestseller tells the story of 12-year-old Danny Walker, the smallest kid on the basketball court, who's cut from the very travel team his father led to national prominence as a boy.
From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw comes a feel-good basketball tale reminiscent of The Blind Side.
Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates.
Jayson, at first, is combatative, testing the Lawtons' patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson's new life is so ready to trust him--and even Jayson's old friends now give him a hard time now that he's attending a school full of rich kids. It's on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadiumhome to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing bigtime college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.
In the tradition of uplifting stories like The Blind Side, Fast Break has all the family-friendly sports action Mike Lupica has become known and loved for.
#1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica makes his return to the basketball court!
There's a reason teammates call him "True." Because for basketball phenom Drew Robinson, there is nothing more true than his talent on the court. It's the kind that comes along once in a generation and is loaded with perks--and with problems.
Before long, True buys in to his own hype, much to the chagrin of his mother, who wants to keep her boy's head grounded--and suddenly trouble has a way of finding him. That is, until a washed-up former playground legend steps back onto the court and takes True under his wing.
In this age of street agents promising riches to kids barely out of elementary school and college programs being taken down because of recruiting violations, True Legend is a resonant and inspiring novel in the Lupica tradition.
***"The perfect trifecta of deep knowledge and portrayal of the history and culture of basketball, keen insight into the obstacle course of motivations and temptations facing a talented young man, and perfect-pitch sports writing. . . Lupica is the greatest sportswriter for middle-grade readers, and this book, True Legend, is a reminder of his dominance."*** —VOYA, starred review
Lupica scores another winner with this cautionary tale. . . . Loaded with action-packed, suspenseful basketball sequences, crisp dialogue, sharply drawn characters, and keen insight into contemporary basketball culture in America, Drews story illuminates the realities and choices facing gifted young athletes.” —School Library Journal
"Written in a fluid mix of slightly distant exposition and terse dialogue, the tale features plenty of suspenseful, expertly depicted hoops action along with choices both wrong and, ultimately, right made in the face of glittering temptations." —Booklist
About the Author
Mike Lupica lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, and is the host of The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN Radio.
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