No, no. That's conflating what I read. John Flanagan's The Seige of Macindaw, book 6 of The Ranger's Apprentice series, rather took over my life for about four days. It rarely takes me that long to read anything, but I didn't want to rush it. Will would love to settle into his job protecting a fief as a ranger, but when Keren, a traitorous knight, takes over Castle Macindaw and holds Alyss hostage in a tower, he gathers his forces to take back the area. Grossly undermanned, Will, Horace, and the Malcolm the "sorcerer" put clever battle strategies in place in order to accomplish this. Their tactical finaglings are fascinating, and the romance between Alyss and Will is wonderful-- they never see each other, so it won't gross out the boys! There are some wonderful moments in the book-- Will, Trobar and Shadow the dog; Horace getting the upper hand; John Buttle coming to a well deserved end. There is some violence, but it is justified and never gratuitous. I can't wait for Erak's Ransom.
Read Fred Bowen's Off the Rim, published by Peachtree. Unfortunately, my copy has the orange cover, which really does make the students less likely to pick it up. The new covers are MUCH better. The All Star Sports Stories do not appear to be connected, but there are 12 of them, and are well worth purchasing for elementary or middle school. While short, they each seem to cover some historical aspect of basketball within the context of modern (circa 1998) times. Off the Rim discussed women's half court basketball, and the mother of a talented girl player helps a boy with his defensive game. Just the right length for reluctant readers at 100 pages, this includes historical information and pictures of real players at the back.
In On the Line, Marcus is a good basketball player, but has trouble with free throws. The custodian at his father's school shows him how to throw underhanded (a "granny" throw"), which helps improve his accuracy, but looks stupid. The theme of improving one's game with the help of unlikely adults continues, and I really enjoyed that!
If your Matt Christopher collection is looking worn out, I would definitely invest in these. As I said, the unfortunate covers led even me not to read them, but now that I have I will be recommending them heavily. An interesting biography of Mr. Bowen appears here.