Friday, January 30, 2015

Stealing the Game

Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld, Raymond. Stealing the Game 
1 February 2015, Disney Press
E ARC from Netgalley.com

In this sequel to Sasquatch in the Paint,  Chris being dragged out of class and questioned by the police. We then find out information slowly-- his brother Jax has flunked out of Stanford Law School and seems to be in trouble with local hoodlum, Rand. Jax even arranges for Chris's basketball team to play another, better team-- and there seems to be money riding on the game. At the same time, Chris's parents start pushing HIM to up his game for college; they are high powered lawyers, and want Chris to have a passion that he wants to pursue. He does, but it's not one he has told anyone but Jax; he draws comics, and his main character is Master Thief. Chris has never stolen anything, so when cute girl Brooke runs into him outside a comic book store and the two get to talking, he agrees to go with her to her family's business and try to shoplift something. He's set up, but turns the tables cleverly on Brooke. Chris is very afraid that Jax is into something really bad, and when his brother asks him to help rob a pawn shop, Chris puts his Master Thief research to good use. There's a lot more going on than Chris suspects. There's a lot of good basketball descriptions, but also some interesting mystery going on.
Strengths: The cover and author will appeal to boys who want books about basketball, and there's enough to keep them interested, but the focus of the story is really the mystery. It's well done and enjoyable, but a bit of a departure from the first book, which was more of a problem novel. I'd love to see a third book that also includes a mystery.
Weaknesses: The scenes in Chris's classroom (They are reading Catcher in the Rye in middle school? Sigh.) really slow down the plot and could have been cut. I liked this more than I liked the first book, though. Chris ends up being really clever.

1 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

What a fun cover. It definitely looks like something that would appeal to boys.

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