A Whole New School Year (In Reality and In Fiction)

September 6th, 2017

School’s in session!
Nationwide, yes, but also in this utterly endearing book.
I pulled A Whole New Ballgame from the bookstore shelf much earlier in the year, when I started my self-directed, middle-grade, humor-novel study. I’d read a good amount of my new collection, but took a break to write—to write funnier, I hope. You’ll be the judge eventually.

You know what comes next:
A. I opened this book.
B. I couldn’t put it down.
C. I immediately fell in love with Rip, the main character, because of his relationship with his best friend Red. (Well, you probably didn’t know that.)
D. I found out I’m late to the love fest surrounding this book (numerous state award nominations).
E. All of the above.

It’s fully apparent (yet remains unlabeled) that Red falls somewhere on the autism spectrum with his quirks and fears and comfort practices. And Rip is his biggest fan, supporter, cheerleader, advocate, and protector because they are truly best friends.

In this first of the series, Rip and Red are a bit startled when, in the place of their expected 5th grade teacher, they find Mr. Acevedo, tattooed and totally unconventional. In short, he refuses to give homework and he refuses to teach to the test. Meanwhile, he also takes charge of the school’s flailing basketball team.

I could go into more plot but:
A. I’m trusting you’ll pick up this fast read.
B. You deserve to hear it in the characters’ voices.
C. I’m ready to rush out and get the next books in the series.
D. Just out of view is an ice cream sundae with my name on it.
E. All of the above.

So I’ll leave you with a mention of the wonderful illustrations by Tim Probert, and with author Phil Bildner’s A Whole New Ballgame page. You’ll want to know more. Happy school year!

This book review is part of Barrie Summy‘s brainchild.

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5 thoughts on “A Whole New School Year (In Reality and In Fiction)”

  1. You’ve convinced me! Ordered from my library! Thanks for reviewing, Jody. Hope the ice cream sundae was delicious. And I’m looking forward to reading your humorous MG when the time comes. xo

  2. Having taught for many years, back-to-school always takes me back. In fact, the week before I always have my “teacher” dream of sending the kidlets home too early and struggling to get them back before anyone discovers. – Margy

    1. Ha! Margy! I don’t get teacher dreams, but I still get the one where I can’t find my schedule so I don’t know where my class is. 🙂

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