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Travel Team Paperback – August 18, 2005

142 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Danny Walker Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Danny is a basketball fanatic. He is smart, talented, fast, and dedicated, but short. When he fails to make the seventh-grade travel team, he also fails to follow in the footsteps of his legendary father, Richie Walker, who led his own 12-year-old team to win the nationals and whose career was tragically ended by a car accident. Danny, who lives with his warm and supportive mom, has a somewhat stilted relationship with his less-reliable father. Danny did not make the squad because of the machinations of Richie's childhood nemesis, Mr. Ross, a controlling man who is determined to build a winning team. Although this text lacks only the stage directions and music cues to make the transition to the small screen as a Hallmark special, it really is a fun book for sports fans. Danny and the others cut from the travel team predictably form their own squad, coached by his father who battles alcoholism (and another car accident!) to lead them, with Danny's leadership, to the climactic game against their arch rivals. Although the kids compare themselves to the Bad News Bears, they are strictly old-school, harkening back to Stephen W. Meader's Sparkplug of the Hornets(Harcourt, 1968; o.p.). There's even a sweetly innocent romance with a wise-beyond-her-years girl who uses IM/chat to provide Danny with support just when he needs it most. A round-ball heart-warmer.–Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-8. Danny Walker is crushed when he doesn't make the Vikings, the seventh-grade basketball team. He is told that he is too short, but he suspects that the real reason has something to do with the bad blood between his divorced father (a former NBA star whose career was cut short by a car accident) and Mr. Ross, the father of the team's best player. Then Danny's father announces that he is starting his own youth team, but unexpected setbacks sideline his dad and the team until Danny steps in and coaches the team himself. Some readers may find that the story drags at times, and sports cliches fill the final pages. Still, Lupica creates a sports novel that is rich in details; this is one of the few novels about basketball, for example, that actually mentions zone defenses rather than the perennial one-on-one scenes in most basketball novels. Many fans of sports fiction will like this. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0930 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (August 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142404624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142404621
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America. His longevity at the top of his field is based on his experience and insider's knowledge, coupled with a provocative presentation that takes an uncompromising look at the tumultuous world of professional sports. Today he is a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News, which includes his popular "Shooting from the Lip" column, which appears every Sunday. He began his newspaper career covering the New York Knicks for the New York Post at age 23. He became the youngest columnist ever at a New York paper with the New York Daily News, which he joined in 1977. For more than 30 years, Lupica has added magazines, novels, sports biographies, other non-fiction books on sports, as well as television to his professional resume. For the past fifteen years, he has been a TV anchor for ESPN's The Sports Reporters. He also hosted his own program, The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN2. In 1987, Lupica launched "The Sporting Life" column in Esquire magazine. He has published articles in other magazines, including Sport, World Tennis, Tennis, Golf Digest, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, ESPN: The Magazine, Men's Journal and Parade. He has received numerous honors, including the 2003 Jim Murray Award from the National Football Foundation. Mike Lupica co-wrote autobiographies with Reggie Jackson and Bill Parcells, collaborated with noted author and screenwriter, William Goldman on Wait Till Next Year, and wrote The Summer of '98, Mad as Hell: How Sports Got Away from the Fans and How We Get It Back and Shooting From the Lip, a collection of columns. In addition, he has written a number of novels, including Dead Air, Extra Credits, Limited Partner, Jump, Full Court Press, Red Zone, Too Far and national bestsellers Wild Pitch and Bump and Run. Dead Air was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Mystery and became a CBS television move, "Money, Power, Murder" to which Lupica contributed the teleplay. Over the years he has been a regular on the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America and The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. On the radio, he has made frequent appearances on Imus in the Morning since the early 1980s. His previous young adult novels, Travel Team, Heat, Miracle on 49th Street, and the summer hit for 2007, Summer Ball, have shot up the New York Times bestseller list. Lupica is also what he describes as a "serial Little League coach," a youth basketball coach, and a soccer coach for his four children, three sons and a daughter. He and his family live in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Luke Iverson "L.D" on October 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mike Lupica has a masterpiece with this book. This is one of the best book's I have ever read. It's suggestion on the age level on this book's site isnt correct according to me. I think this book should be read by 12-15 year olds, thus because it deals with so many serious situations. This is a great comeback story, and i hope my review can convince you to by it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By LARS on November 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. I read Mike Lupica's novels and ordered this book on their strength. My daughter heard me laughing while reading it and wanted to see what was so funny. Now a group of 12 year old girls are reading it for their book club and love it. This book really is for the 11 to 14 year old age group, but don't be misled by the subject matter the girls are finding lots to interest them including the ones who have no interest in basketball.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Travel Team" is a great book about a boy named Danny and his travel team of rejects which his Dad, Richie Walker, former NBA star and child basketball hero, coaches. The main reason I like this book is because it is realistic and gives a good picture of what kids this age can do on the court. As a youth basketball player myself, I can say the descriptions of the basketball games were phenomenal, and accurate. It was also interesting to see references to real things and people, such as LeBron James and Tracy McGrady. I highly recommend this book to people who like sports and basketball, and for people who like good come-from-behind stories like "Hoosiers". This book is good for people age 11 through 15, but anyone would enjoy it. Travel Team was so good that I hope Mike Lupica writes a sequel!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bryan on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Travel Team is the first novel i have read from Mike Lupica and i will be going out very soon to buy many more of his sports novels. The story of travel team is great, how a 12 year old "little man" named Danny who is very small for his age overcomes his defeats and also renews a relationship with his father, who becomes his coach. The novel is very touching at times in which Richie (his dad) is talking to Danny. The only way to describe the book is already written on the front fold of the book, "Mike Lupica delivers a rousing tale of the underdog that will leave you cheering through the final page." That statement is SO highly recommended for any age, although many younger ones ages 10-16 would probably enjoy it even more. Great book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a very interesting book, Mike Lupica has done it again. I bought this book about 5 months ago and really enjoyed it.

While I was scanning the reviews I found one saying it was a very easy book. This review was full of spelling mistakes to make it seem like a book for a first grader, which it most definately is not. Please ignore that very sophmoric viewpoint.

I've found that Mike Lupica is a very good writer, especially with his basketball books. I haven't found very many sports books that aren't about the history of it, or stats of pro players. This book made me want to grab my basketball and go shoot some hoops!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Danny Walker has looked forward to his seventh grade season on the travel team, the same grade his father was in when he became a miracle, but he did not make the Vikings because of his height and no his father is starting a rag-tag team of his own. Danny was a very small kid for the age of twelve. He was only fifty-five inches tall and had to launch the ball off his shoulder to even shoot, but he was the best point guard in Middletown because he could pass the ball crisply to anyone who could catch. When it came time for try-outs, though, he didn't make the cut because the Vikings' coach, Mr. Ross, was always in Danny's father's shadow and was trying to get back at him. After Danny's father, Richie Walker, talked to Mr. Ross and saw what a jerk he was about the people who did not make the cut, and so he decided to start his own team of boys that did not make that travel team. When the new team, coached by Richie, started practicing they were horrible and eventually let a girl on he team named Colby Danes and she was the best person for Danny to pass to, but through the season they only won three games and came in at seventh place where they would be playing against the second seed the Middletown Vikings. Before they got that far after the first game that the Warriors won Richie was in a crash accident and was in a hospital bed for the rest of the season unable to coach. In the game against the Vikings the Warriors actually won as Danny made a final shot at the buzzer. This was one of the best books I've read in a while because there is extensive detail and drama in the novel.

In every game the author would go into detail about the score, what the players were thinking, and how they were acting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The book Travel Team hasn't won an award, but in my opinion it should have! Travel Team, by Mike Lupica, is a fiction book, but many people including myself, can relate to it very well. It is a basketball story that has a bit of drama and a touch of suspense. Those two things and many more writing abilities makes this one superb book!

Danny is in 7th grade and has a huge roll to play. His father was the star point guard on the 7th grade travel team when he was younger. He also played college ball at Syracuse, but injured his hip early in his N.B.A. career. Now, Danny, who is very short, is expected to take after his dad. He does just about that up until the night after tryouts for the 7th grade travel team. He gets a phone call from the coach saying that he didn't make the team because of his size. After hearing Danny say that he's quitting basketball for life, Danny's dad, Richy, decides to start a second travel team. The only problem is that Danny is the only decent player!

Mike Lupica does a pretty good job of using his writing skills. His sentences flow wonderfully which makes this an easy book to read aloud. Mike Lupica doesn't use many describing words, but each sentence is unique and powerful. As you read the book, you can tell that Lupica really knows the life of a twelve year boy.

Travel Team is easy to read and follow, but I would recommend it to 5th to 7th graders, and some adults, because of some mild language. If you enjoy basketball, this is the book for you! If you enjoy this book than you might like the books by Matt Christopher, they are fiction sport books, too. This book is awesome and I defiantly recommend it to you!
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