Monday, April 24, 2006
Travel Team by Mike Lupica, 2004
I am becoming a solid Mike Lupica fan. I have never seen him on ESPN and I do not read sports writers usually but I may start in this case. I think Travel Team and Heat are two of the best books I have read this year.
Danny Walker loves basketball. Danny understands the game to the very core. He understands that a key to the game is getting the ball to the shooters. Danny is a great passer. Danny is also the shortest player on court.
For the first time in his life, Danny has not made "the" team. The coach of the travel team is looking to repeat the town's run to the national championship and is selecting players by size not ability.
Danny is devastated and thinking of giving up on basketball when his mostly absent father, Richie Walker, turns up. His dad was a professional NBA ball player and the player who led the town's travel team to televised glory in the national championship years before. Richie's career is over due to an injury but he sees a way to have a second chance with his son and at life when he starts a team made up of the other 'also ran' kids.
Lupica creates realistic, full-rounded characters. His descriptions of the action makes you feel as if you are running down the court looking for the pass along with the characters. This book will strike a chord with kids and grownups as it reminds us that playing is supposed to be fun. Hard work, smart players and heart are what make a team.
Lupica's books would be great to promote to Matt Christopher and Dan Gutman readers. The poignant stories resonate with heart and give readers a front row seat to terrific sports action.
Posted by Camille at 8:16 AM