STICKS by Joan Bauer

STICKS

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Fifth grader Mickey Vernon has a dream--to be the winner of the nine-ball tournament for the 1013 set, held right in his own family's pool hall. Mickey's a pretty good pool shark, but he has to beat bully Buck Pender, 13, to win. Mickey's father, who died when his son was a baby, was a nine-ball ace; how can Mickey follow in his footsteps? ``Pool is pure geometry, plus a little physics,'' says Mickey. His best friend, a math whiz named Arlen, helps him with shots, but Mickey's hopes really soar when an old friend of his father's resurfaces, offering to coach the boy. The only problem is Mickey's mother--she doesn't trust the man and won't let Mickey spend time with him. Mickey's authentic voice draws readers right into the story. As did Sid Hite in An Even Break (1995), Bauer (Thwonk, 1995, etc.) sets up a good, clear conflict and confidently weaves in subplots. Characters both major and minor come to life, a recurring math theme ties things together, and Cruckston, New Jersey, emerges as a town with a lot more heart than its seedy exterior suggests. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-32165-1
Page count: 183pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1996




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