Reviews for Summer Ball


Booklist Reviews 2007 April #2
Danny Walker is back in this sequel to Travel Team (2004). This installment takes Danny to a summer basketball camp, where the scrappy hero faces some of the country's best players in his age group. Early on, Danny finds himself spending a lot of time on the bench because his coach (a retired college coach) determines that he is too short for the game. Danny suspects, however, that the coach's antagonism may have more to do with an old grudge the coach holds against Danny's dad, a former basketball star. Eventually, though, Danny's tough-minded determination wins the day as he helps lead his team to victory. Lupica is at his best when he puts the reader right in the center of the action on the court. His game descriptions are fast, accurate, and exciting. Young sports-fiction fans will eat this up. ((Reviewed April 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Thirteen-year-old Danny ([cf2]Travel Team[cf1]) is ready to take his game "to the next level" at summer basketball camp. The small point guard overcomes tall obstacles, including an antagonistic coach, with the help of his friend Tess and former nemesis Rasheed. Lupica's authentic, plentiful play-by-play details place his audience right in the game, encouraging readers to root for the likable little guy. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Thirteen-year-old Danny ([cf2]Travel Team[cf1]) is ready to take his game "to the next level" at summer basketball camp. The small point guard overcomes tall obstacles, including an antagonistic coach, with the help of his friend Tess and former nemesis Rasheed. Lupica's authentic, plentiful play-by-play details place his audience right in the game, encouraging readers to root for the likable little guy. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 April #1
Danny Walker returns in this sequel to the popular Travel Team (2004). Son of a former NBA player, Danny is considered too short to make it on a championship team, and even his coach suggests soccer as a better match for him. But Danny perseveres, goes to basketball camp and suffers abuse at the hands of Coach Powers and fellow players, until he proves himself, helps forge a viable team and becomes a hero in the inevitable Rocky-style climax. Underdog makes good is always a fun theme, and young readers will enjoy this one, including the exciting final game, but it's less effective and less involving than Lupica's previous books Heat (2006) and Miracle on 49th Street (2006). The staccato writing becomes annoying, the fragmented style contributing to a story that is insubstantial and predictable. Nevertheless, fans of Lupica and John Feinstein will devour this one. (Fiction. 10+) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 May #4
Danny, first introduced in Travel Team (a novel with "genuinely affecting moments," wrote PW), is back in Summer Ball by Mike Lupica. This time the teen heads out of town to spend the summer at Right Way basketball camp where he will have to play with-and against-some of the best ballers around. Faced with challenges old and new, Danny must overcome his doubts and fears to find out if he has what it takes to bring his game to the next level. (Philomel, $17.99 256p ages 10-up ISBN 9780-399-24487-2; May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 June

Gr 5-8-- This novel continues the story of Danny Walker, the basketball-obsessed hero of Travel Team (Philomel, 2004). In the interval between the two books, the 13-year-old and his friends went on to win the travel-team championship. Now that they are heading off to summer basketball camp, Danny is feeling the pressure of being number one. He plays as well as ever, but he's still the smallest boy on the court and anxiously hoping for a growth spurt. As the story begins, things quickly go wrong for him. He fights with his girlfriend before he leaves; at camp, he's separated from his friends and assigned a berth in the younger boys' cabin. There are many familiar elements and few surprises here, yet Lupica breathes life into both characters and story. Danny is a classic sports-story underdog, but he's also sympathetic and engaging. He is surrounded by a cast of supporting characters who add humor and whose interactions ring true. When Danny befriends Zach, who is a younger version of himself, readers see the protagonist grow in empathy and self-awareness. Sports fans will relish the on-court action, expertly rendered in Lupica's taut prose. This worthy sequel to Travel Team should earn a wide audience.--Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

[Page 152]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2007 June
Danny Walker of Travel Team (Philomel, 2004/VOYA December 2004) fame continues to live for basketball-even though he still is waiting for his growth spurt. With eighth grade behind him, Danny is on his way to the summer basketball camp run by NBA player Josh Cameron. Danny wonders whether he really can measure up in a camp league of eleven- to fifteen-year-olds. His mother and father are back together, but Danny and basketball-playing friend Tess seem to be at odds for the first time, and he heads to camp full of uncertainties. The first days of camp crush Danny to where he considers faking an injury to go home. But when Tess arrives at her uncle's home across the lake from Danny, the two of them have a heart-to-heart talk, and Danny regains his confidence. Other challenges materialize in an old-fashioned coach, who tells Danny that he should play soccer instead of basketball, and a hot-shot player who seems to have it out for Danny. As always, it all comes down to the buzzer of the last game at camp Both fans of basketball and fans of underdogs will love this story of Danny and his irrepressible friends. Lupica knows his basketball and knows how to spin a page-turner of a story. Those who enjoyed the first installment of Danny's story will be thrilled to read a sequel, and even those middle school readers who are not huge sports fans will want to cheer for Danny Walker, who proves that determination can be a whole lot bigger than height.-Mary Ann Darby 4Q 4P M Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.

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