Big Nate Wright has got game! At least he thinks he does.
Star of five novels, numerous collections of comics and two activity books (so far), sixth-grader and aspiring comics creator Nick shows his sportsmanship in this newest collection of newspaper funnies. The full-color strips, one to a page, are organized in three big chapters: “Swish,” about basketball; “Play Ball,” about Little League; and “Goal,” about soccer. Within those chapters are five or six strip stories and general-topic weekend strips (which have, of course, a few more panels to set up their comedy). The strips are in chronological order within each sport and cover several seasons (especially the baseball section). In “Swish,” always-small-in-stature Nate tries to “bulk up” so he can run with the big boys. He also loses his lucky socks and deals with a sudden inability to “trash talk” on the court. In “Play Ball,” the team deals with the stigma of being sponsored by a beauty salon (go, Chez Linda!), suffers under drill-sergeant substitute coach John and plays a championship game—unfortunately without their star players. In “Goal,” exchange student (and Nate nemesis) Artur joins the team, and the boys play through a cold snap. Nate deals with his...issues with humor, slight sarcasm and (sort of) aplomb.
Fans and collectors will want ’em all. Big Nate continues to rock. (Comics collection. 6-12)