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A Whole New Ballgame: A Rip and Red Book Paperback – July 12, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Fifth graders Rip and his best friend Red, who has high spectrum autism, deal with an unusual new teacher plus an unconventional basketball coach and in the process learn a great deal about teamwork and friendship and about meeting challenges in school. Upbeat drawings add a positive dimension. Readers will also enjoy the outstanding sequel, Rookie of the Year (2016).α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“Pure fun with a lot of heart.” ―School Library Journal
“Cartoony illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters. A school story with heart.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains.” ―Publishers Weekly
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Top customer reviews
Author Phil Bildner writes a fun, fun story any fifth-grade kid (or teacher) can relate to. Through his writing and character development, Phil Bildner portrays caring, passion, and kindness. Not all kids are alike. Not all teachers are alike. A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME is a story of acceptance and understanding. A must read for grades three and up!
In this story, Mr. Acevedo is the new fifth grade teacher. He does not want to spend time "teaching to the test" but wants to immerse his students in authentic learning. He believes they will be able to apply their knowledge wherever and whenever it is needed. Rip and Red are best friends. Rip helps Red whenever he gets over anxious and thinks he can not do something. They are looking forward to playing basketball together in the Grade Five program, only to find out it is all different. This was a fun story with lots of lessons.
Phil Binder (author) has important things to say to a number of different readers. To kids, the author has an important message about inclusion, friendship, and hard work. All of the characters in this story have ways that they struggle: Red is autistic, Avery is wheelchair-bound, and Rip is the glue that holds everyone together. Mr. Acevedo is working hard to teach and reach children in an environment of budget cuts and standardized testing. There are also some exciting basketball scenes for sports fans, too. The parents do not understand the way Mr. Acevedo is teaching their children, but in the end, they are successful. Teachers can learn a lot about being willing to try new techniques with their students. I think this is a great book for any 5th grade classroom library.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.