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Comeback Kids Series, Book 1
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From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!It's simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and...
From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!It's simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and...
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  • From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

    It's simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and his parents newly separated, somehow everything's become complicated. His brother Ben hardly talks anymore. His mom is always traveling on business. And his dad is always on his case about not being a team player. But when Ben's piano recital falls on the same day as the championship game, it's Billy who teaches his dad the meaning of being a team player.

Excerpts-

  • From the book One
     
    It had been three days since Billy Raynor’s dad told them that he was going to live in a different house.
     
    His mom explained that it was something known as a “trial separation.”
     
    Yeah, Billy thought, a separation of thirteen blocks— he’d counted them up after looking at the map in the phone book—plus the train station, plus the biggest park in town, Waverly Park, where all the ballfields were.
     
    His parents could call it a “trial separation” all they wanted, try to wrap the whole thing up in grown- up language, the way grown- ups did when they had something bad to tell you. But they weren’t fooling Billy.
     
    His dad had left them.
     
    Now his mom was leaving, too.

    She wasn’t leaving for good. It was just another one of her business trips, one Billy had known was coming. She’d told him and his sister and his little brother that she had to go back up to Boston for a few days because of this big case she was working on. A real trial, instead of a dumb trial separation. That was why it was no big surprise to him that her suitcases were in the front hall again, lined up like fat toy soldiers. And why it was no surprise that the car taking her to the airport, one that looked exactly like the other long, black, take-her-to-the-airport cars, was parked in the driveway with the motor running.
     
    Another getaway car, Billy thought to himself, like in a movie.
     
    From the time his mom had started to get famous as a lawyer, even going on television sometimes, she always seemed to be going somewhere. Now it was because of a case she’d been working on for a while. She said it was an important one.
     
    But as far as Billy could tell, they all were.
     
    So she was going to be up in Boston for a few days. And his dad was now on the other side of town, even though it already felt to Billy like the other side of the whole country. Billy was ten, and both his parents were always telling him how bright he was. But he wasn’t bright enough to figure out what had happened to their family this week.
     
    He wondered sometimes if he was ever going to figure out grown-ups.
     
    His best friend, Lenny, said you had a better chance of figuring out girls.
     
    All he knew for sure, right now, the end of his first official week of living with only one parent in the house, was this: It was about to be no parents in the house. And on this Saturday morning, with his sixteen- year- old sister, Eliza, still at a sleepover and his brother, Ben, already at his piano lesson, pretty soon it would be the quietest house in the world. With their dad gone, at least the arguing between his parents had stopped. Only now Billy couldn’t decide what was worse, the arguing or the quiet.
     
    Of course, Peg would be around. Peg: the nanny who had always seemed to be so much more to Billy.
     
    To him, Peg had always been like a mom who came off the bench and into the game every time suitcases were lined up in the hall again and one of the black cars was back in the driveway. It had been that way with Peg even before his dad had up and moved out.
     
    Billy’s mom had finished up a call on her cell phone while he finished his breakfast. His dad used to make the pancakes on Saturdays. But his mom had done it today, maybe trying to act like things were normal even if they both knew they weren’t.
     
    His mom, whose first name was Lynn, sat down next to him on one of the high chairs they used when they were eating at the counter in the middle of the...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books edwardbird - This book was really good.The main character has a big passion for basketball and I do to and that is one of the reasons I like the book.Also it was really interesting and unique book and that is another reason why i liked this book.The theme of this book is that you should never give up on the things that you love.I barely remember the book because I read it a few years ago but all I know is that the story is not boring.For me it was a big page turner.It was not super long so that is another reason why I liked this book.The author cut everything to the bone so the book was easier to read and so I didn't have to read as much.The majority of the book was really good an I recommend everyone should read it.The book is really inspiring.If I could give this a rate from one star to five stars it would be a five star.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 3, 2007
    Lupica (Miracle on 49th Street
    ) again relays fast-paced basketball action in this involving first volume of the Comeback Kids series. The narrative moves equally sure-footedly off-court to explore the dynamics of 10-year-old Billy's family. His parents have recently separated, and his father, Joey, has moved to another house. Joey is also Billy's demanding, hot-headed basketball coach, constantly criticizing his son for shooting rather than passing during games. Billy's well-intentioned mother works long hours as a lawyer and travels frequently. Younger brother Ben, as passionate about the piano as Billy is about basketball, becomes increasingly withdrawn and, alarmingly, begins to skip piano lessons. Billy comes to Ben's rescue when a school bully picks on him, but resents feeling that his often-absent parents expect him to take care of his vulnerable brother. Tensions peak when Ben's piano recital and Billy's championship game occur at the same time; their mother is called out of town, and their father refuses to miss the game for Ben's recital. The resolution is pat, but pleasing—although not as pleasing as the sports writing. Lupica moves to the gridiron in the series' Two-Minute Drill
    , due the same month. These should score big with middle-graders looking for alternatives to Matt Christopher's titles.Ages 8-up.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2007
    Gr 4-6-In these additions to the series, Lupica features kids who struggle with adversity to reach their full potential both on the athletic field and in life. In "Hot Hand", 10-year-old Billy Raynor must deal with his parents' recent separation, a situation complicated by the fact that his hard-driving, sometimes neglectful father is also his basketball coach. The protagonist of "Two-Minute Drill" is Scott Parry, the perennial new kid who tries out for the local sixth-grade-level football team in attempt to fit in with his classmates. His frustrations as the worst player on the team take a turn when the star player, Chris Conlan, comes to him with a secret: if he can't pass a state reading test, he'll be moved to special-education classes and taken off the team. Both novels strike a good balance between sports action and more interior explorations of social issues facing today's children. The characters are sometimes a bit shallow but are always sympathetic, particularly talentless but tough Scott, and the adults have complexity and depth, which can be rare in genre novels. The strongest point in both books is the quality of the sports play-by-play; Lupica portrays the action clearly and vividly, with a real sense of the excitement and unpredictable nature of the games. These are worthy additions to collections seeking to draw in middle-grade boys with an enthusiasm for athletics."Meredith Robbins, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York City"

    Copyright 2007 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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