SKINNYBONES by Barbara Park


Age Range: 8 - 12
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This opens with sixth-grader Alex sending off a smart-alec entry to a Kitty Fritters commercial contest, but it soon settles into his problem as the smallest, poorest, most humiliated player in the local Little League—as he puts it, referring to his repeated winning of the "most improved player" award, "the only one to go from stinko to smelly six years in a row." Alex's response to embarrassment is show-off quipping and clowning, and even if you can't accept the motivation—Alex says he goes through all this for the caps, which make him look like a real ballplayer—you're bound to give in to a few laughs at his retorts. Alex's chief bane is T.J. Stoner, whose older brother is a major leaguer and who, himself, is the best Little Leaguer any coach has laid eyes on. Because Alex can't keep from heckling T.J., T.J. delights in challenging Alex to contests, and consistently shows him up. But on the day that T.J. becomes National Little League Champion, Alex shares a bit of the glory—winning the Kitty Fritters contest he had entered as a joke. Whereas T.J. will get into the Guinness Book of World Records, Alex will go on TV. He's already off and dreaming about his future as a comic. It's a neat enough outcome for this sort of easy walk.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1982
ISBN: 978-0-679-88792-8
Page count: 126pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1982


ChildrenMA! THERE’S NOTHING TO DO HERE! by Barbara Park
by Barbara Park