From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9–Well-known YA authors provide clever, semi-autobiographical snapshots that most people would love to forget. While many of the stories are about failed physical efforts, others celebrate athletic achievement. Many are endearingly and identifiably familiar, either from a nostalgically bittersweet perspective, or from the point of view of a young and hopeful athlete. The element of humor counters the trip-ups, bruised egos, and foiled attempts that accompany organized play. The revelation, especially for students, is that everybody (even successful authors) has had pitfalls. Sometimes the failures are more interesting and laughable than the triumphs. The sports theme will make this book a hit with kids, and the well-crafted prose will assure its repeated use by teachers. Laughter, action, and personal anecdotes are a perfect fit for middle-schoolers wrestling with the pressures to conform to unrealistic social and physical norms.–Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
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Gr. 4-7. When these eight writers mined their school days for sports tales, the result was not so much a treasury of thrilling victories and agonizing defeats as a series of unexpected, crystallizing moments that they would never forget. Readers may find these moments memorable, too. In Joseph Bruchac's "Bombardment," for instance, the usual "last one chosen" becomes a great team leader for one shining hour, while in Tanya West's "Finding High-Jump Fame," a high jumper's wardrobe malfunction becomes the stuff of legend (or at least the stuff of cautionary tales). David Lubar, Dorian Cirrone, Marilyn Singer, Terry Trueman, Alexandra Siy, and Jamie McEwan also contribute original stories to the collection. Although some of the vignettes are laugh-out-loud funny and others have the self-deprecating humor of the chronic underachiever, one of the writers (McEwan) took sports seriously enough to win an Olympic medal. Following each of the stories is a page or two of autobiographical musings, accompanied by a photo of the writer as a youth. The book's smaller-than-standard trim size and inviting page design will help attract readers to this rewarding collection. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved