Gym Shorts: Basketball Bats
Henry and his friends on Rockford Road are a basketball team unstoppable on their driveway court. But without team t-shirts or an official name can they take on The Tigers, a team that plays at the huge YWCA and has a player old enough to shave? Young readers will cheer as The Bats take on a name and stick together to beat the odds.
From School Library Journal
When Tough Guy saunters into the neighborhood and challenges Henry and his friends to a game of basketball against his team, the Tigers, they accept and win. In a rematch, the Tigers beat them while bringing out the worst side of Henry’s nature: the ball-hog side. Though he has always wanted a nickname, Henry’s put out when his resentful teammates start calling him “Hot Dog.” A third game gives them a chance to beat the Tigers, while Henry tries to earn his friends’ respect. In this promising start for the Gym Shorts series, Hicks finds just the right balance between story line, play-by-play action, and wry humor. Even better, her solidly drawn descriptions of Henry’s hopes and fears give readers a reason to care about the story’s outcome. Nearly every double-page spread includes a droll illustration by McCauley, the illustrator of Scieszka’s Time Warp Trio series. A winner for young sports fans. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan