Robbie Marquez is looking forward to nothing more than a summer full of his favorite sport -- baseball. He hopes especially to be the shortstop for one of his city's rec league teams, but when he and his friend Trent Lubak go to the league office for their team assignments, they find out their applications never arrived. Suddenly, they are looking at a summer with no baseball at all -- unless they can pull together enough players for a team, and a coach and a team sponser, in a very short amount of time.
Robbie and Trent indeed pull it off. (Even if Robbie does have to invent a cousin to round out the team.) So here come the Scrappers, an unusual mix of players but a team that has potential -- if they can just figure out how to get along. And that's a challenge, especially when Robbie loses out as shortstop to loudmouthed Gloria, who won't let him forget it!
This book, focusing on Robbie Marquez, is the first book in Dean Hughes's new Scrappers series about this unseasoned but determined baseball squad. Each new book in the series focuses on one of the members of the team during a summerlong season. Along the way, each person learns not only something about him or herself but also what it is that defines a team.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Hughes's (Family Pose; Team Picture) breezy writing style and a lineup of credible characters get his Scrappers series off to a winning start. If the Mighty Ducks abandoned the ice for the baseball diamond, they might look quite a bit like the Scrappers, the team that Robbie and Wilson must hastily assemble in order to play during the summer season. Young baseball devotees will readily forgive Hughes if he occasionally indulges in cliches to cheer on his play-by-play recounting of action on the field. The author counts more than balls and strikes here, as he focuses on such ethical issues as Robbie's punishment for inventing a "cousin" to fill out the requisite number of players to form a team, and the philosophy of the Scrappers' wise coach, who emphasizes teamwork over star treatment and refuses to play his top athlete until the boy's negative attitude changes. Three girl team members add some lively dynamics, as when plucky Gloria, vying with Robbie for the shortstop position, quips, "How come boys are always wrong?" in response to his claim that he is the better player. Readers will likely want to play ball with this team of characters. Up next is Home Run Hero, due the same month. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grade 3-6-When Trent and Robbie forget to turn in their Little League applications on time, they are told that the only way that they can play is to assemble enough players to form another team. Because everyone else (who is any good) has already signed up, the boys have a tough time locating 12 willing members. They find them, though, and the Scrappers are born. Realistic details include the grouping of friends along gender lines, girls who fear they won't be treated as serious ball players, and teammates who blame one another for mistakes and misses on the field. By the end of the book, the children have learned something about team spirit and sportsmanship. Hughes also addresses the subject of honesty and, while some of the characters have consequences to pay for their lies, the author never gets up on a soapbox. An entertaining book.
Barb Lawler, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. Unknown Binding. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory # G0689819242I3N10
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