Useful and priced right.

READ REVIEW

FORCED OUT

From the Travel Team series

This entry in the Travel Team series is totally focused on baseball and its intricacies.

Second baseman Zack is ideally positioned to see the pitching, watch the fielding and support the Las Vegas Roadrunners, a team that is full of outstanding players looking to shine for scouts. There is diversity in ethnicity, sexual orientation and income. Zack has little money and is thrilled to be on the team, but he is wary about costs. Suddenly a new catcher appears, whose father’s wealth makes an expensive out-of-state tournament possible. Zack’s allegiance to buddy Nick, the previous catcher, tests his baseball savvy. While the players have lives off the field, this series is almost exclusively about the challenges of the game and the complexities of team play. Two other entries release simultaneously. Out of Control, by Rick Jasper, focuses on shortstop Trip, whose father is a famous singer. Trip also likes music and wonders if his father’s insistence that he be a great baseball player is worthwhile. In Power Hitter, M.G Higgins writes about Sammy, a right fielder struggling to switch from an aluminum bat to the wooden ones required for a special tournament. In each, the coaches play key roles as authority figures and decision makers who set up opportunities. Ideal for reluctant readers who know baseball as a complex and strategic sport; the books' brevity and recurring characters will add appeal.  

Useful and priced right. (Fiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-8533-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Darby Creek

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else.

ALL THIS TIME

A modern-day fairy tale about two teenagers suffering from loss who find healing in one another.

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Kyle and Kimberly have always made up, and Kyle looks forward to attending college together after graduation. But on the night they should be celebrating, Kimberly confesses that she has committed to a different college and breaks up with him. As they argue, their car crashes, and Kyle later wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kimberly is dead. In his grief, Kyle blames himself for her death. He struggles to leave his bed most days, ignores calls from his and Kimberly’s best friend, Sam, and has visions of Kimberly and life before the accident. One day, while visiting Kimberly’s grave, he meets Marley, a girl who likes telling stories and is mourning the death of her twin sister. Predictably, their natural affinity for one another evolves into romance. It is unfortunate that Kyle essentially moves from one romantic relationship to another on his journey to better understanding himself and his co-dependence on those closest to him, although his gradual development into a more considerate person redeems him. The pacing remains even until the critical plot disruption, resulting in the rest of the story feeling disjointed and rushed. All characters are White.

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6634-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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