Stoudemire, Amar'e. Slam Dunk (Standing Tall and Talented #3)
1 January 2013, Scholastic
Copy recieved from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.
Amar'e is preparing for another tournament, and spending so much time practicing that his father is grumbling a bit that he doesn't help with the family lawn care business. The group of kids in the newest tournament are not very nice-- and when one purposefully pokes Amar'e in the eye, it puts him off the court for several weeks and causes him to have to wear geeky looking goggles. He puts the time to good use, though, putting his friends in charge of his training. He jogs with heavy back packs on, practices jumps, and gets a lot of conditioning in while letting his eye heal. Even his father recognizes how hard Amar'e is working-- but will it make a difference on the court?
Strengths: I am always a little conflicted about celebrity authors, but there is no denying that Mr. Stoudemire knows his basketball and knows the type of books that basketball playing boys like to read. While the celebrity factor might make some readers pick this up, the story is solid enough that it will be a continuing favorite. This read a bit like Matt Christopher-- some personal issues, some issues with friends, but definite sports goals and lots of play by play descriptions. The back of this book says that it appeals to 3rd-5th graders, but I think that 6th and 7th graders will also enjoy this series.
Weaknesses: I would have made the main character older-- elementary students would have still picked it up, but older students would have been more inclined as well. Small complaint.
Bell-Rehwoldt, Sheri. The Kids' Guide to Duct Tape Projects
1 August 2011, Capstone
Bought this one at the request of several students and was not disappointed. Along with some decent duct tape projects, this book explains the intricacies of working with duct tape-- where to buy it, how to create "sheets" for larger projecter-- and is a good addition to my very small craft section. Can't get anyone to knit or quilt anymore, the macrame books are thankfully all relocated, so maybe this will entice a few students of both genders to embrace their crafty side!
It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts. Both sites have lots of links to reviews about books that are great for the 4th through 8th grader. It's also Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week at LaraSalas.com.