Saturday, July 14, 2018

Team Players by Mike Lupica - ADVISABLE

Team Players by Mike Lupica, 291 pages. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018. $17.

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence G



Cassie Bennett is heavy into sports.  She is good at a lot of sports, but her favorite is softball.  She is a natural leader and her team, coached by her dad, could make it the play-offs and be on television.  Enter Sarah Milligan, an autistic girl who, while she has some mad skills, is also difficult to play with.  Cassie is sure she can make everyone on the team get along, but Sarah’s presence and Cassie’s involvement fracture the team.  Cassie’s friends, Teddy, Gus, and Jack are having problems with their team as well.  It would seem that team players don’t always play as a team. 

There are some great themes here, like inclusion, and differences, and what makes a friend. This book may give readers some exposure to autism and some of its manifestations, though autism varies wildly from kid to kid.  It is refreshing to see characters sincerely trying to do the right thing even if it costs them.  Though Cassie and her friends sometimes seem wiser than most adults, they have some great insights.  The book seemed a bit long, but probably because I was following the team drama instead of the softball plays.   All this book needs is the smell of popcorn to go with it.

Michelle in the Middle, Teacher

No comments: