Rivals by Tommy Greenwald

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Rivals: Greenwald, Tommy: 9781419748271: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Carter and Austin play basketball for rival middle schools in the town of Walthorne, and each one has a reason to love–and to hate–the game.  Carter’s parents, who are divorced and struggling financially, see basketball as Carter’s ticket to success, while Austin’s former-college-star dad wants his son to have the shot at the NBA he missed out on.  Both boys are young enough to remember back to the days when basketball was played just for fun, but now the pressure results in injuries, cheating, and bullying.  A crisis at a girls’ game brings things to a head, and Carter and Austin team up to play one more game–on their terms.  320 pages; grades 5-8.

Pros:  Tommy Greenwald is one of those authors who kind of flies under the radar, but I pretty much always love his books.  This one is written in the same style as Game Changer, with alternating points of view, texts, and a blog written by aspiring sports reporter Alfie Jenks.  Perfect for sports fans, reluctant readers, and those who enjoy writers like Gordon Korman and Kwame Alexander.

Cons:  I found it a bit confusing to have three main characters named Clay, Chase, and Carter.

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