The latest installment of the Rip and Red series features more basketball action and slices of middle school life.
Mason “Rip” Irving and Blake “Red” Daniels are finishing their fifth-grade year at Reese Jones Elementary school. When their coach, Mr. Acevedo, announces an invitation for their travel-league basketball team to play in the upcoming tournament of champions, the boys are excited. But when Rip’s father comes back into his life as a chaperone for the trip, Rip feels “the best basketball weekend of my life was turning into a disaster.” Rip’s father (who is white) hasn’t been in his life for a long time, and now he may be a distraction at the worst possible time. More than the abundant basketball action, Bildner’s diverse cast of characters is what energizes this tremendously engaging story. Rip is mixed-race (his mom is black), Red is white and on the autism spectrum, and Diego Vasquez, Latino and a cancer survivor, is back playing ball. “You learn a lot about how you deal with things when you have cancer,” Diego tells Rip. But every character has issues to face, and each student, including Rip, comes to realize that “Life is about playing the cards you’re dealt.”
Another solid volume in a fun and lively series. (Fiction. 8-12)