sports, teen

Download Basketball


Author: Alison Hawes
Publisher: Hameray
Genre: Teens / Sports
ISBN: 978-1-60559-003-5
Pages: 48
Price: $9.95

Buy it from Hameray

Basketball is a fun sport for boys and girls of all ages. But how is it played, and who are all those people on the court? If basketball looks interesting to you and you want to know more about its history, stars, and rules, you’ll need to read Download Basketball.

Basketball is a fast-paced game, and this book is set up to be a fast read. Position players, scorekeepers, and referees are all introduced, with explanations of what each does. Court markings and how they’re used to score, and what to wear to stay cool and comfortable, help in learning to play the game. And no book about any sport would be complete without a history of its beginnings, as well as legends who dazzled the crowds with their prowess.

The Download series was created to support striving readers for whom reading is a difficult or frustrating task. This series would be great in engaging kids ages 9-14, reading at age level 7-8.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

mystery, sports

Dead Ball


Author: Michael Balkind
Publisher: Pero Thrillers
Genre: Mystery / Sports
ISBN: 1-56315-453-6
Pages: 218
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
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Reid Clark is once again caught in the middle of an investigation, but this time his partner and good friend, Bob Thomas, is dead. He calls in Jay Scott and his team, knowing these guys are the best, and they’ll be sure to find Bob’s killer.

As CFO of AllSport, the non-profit training facility for underprivileged athletes, Bob needed to keep an eye on an accounting department that processes a high volume of donations. But Bob recently had a fight with the auditors who monitor things, and a few other suspects come to light. Dead Ball takes place two years after the events of Sudden Death, and Reid thinks that maybe someone from his past wants to get to him by killing Bob.

Jay’s investigation sends his men into some dangerous places, but they manage to come out alive. And finally, at the end, the killer is brought to justice. The action is fast-paced, as they follow leads, but some of the scenarios felt false, and I wondered if gangs or the mafia would act as Balkind suggests. And while the final clue pointed directly to the killer, I also found it unlikely that a non-profit facility would take the measures needed for such a clue to come to light.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

mystery, sports

Sudden Death


Author: Michael Balkind
Publisher: Pero Thrillers
Genre: Mystery / Sports
ISBN: 978-1563154041
Pages: 224
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
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Reid Clark, golf pro, has just received a threat on his life. When his agent, Buck Green, suggests he hire Jay Scott to investigate, Reid readily agrees. If he wins the Masters, he’s fine, but the next time he wins, he’s going to die. Jay brings in his best men, determined to protect Reid from harm.

In the midst of this investigation, Reid wants to win the Masters. He has issues with anger over the press invading his turf, and a new lady in his life complicates things further. And a huge endorsement contract with a leading manufacturer of golf balls is an added incentive to win. But if winning will cost him his life, is it really worth it?

As an avid sports fan and mystery lover, I looked forward to reading Sudden Death, but I was a little disappointed. The investigation, for the most part, is only a very small part of the story, and takes place behind the scenes. Most of the plot development revolves around Reid’s experiences on the golf course and his interactions with family and business. I also expected this to be more of a thriller with a lot more action and danger, but it was a fairly straight-forward story, with only a hint of the threat Reid faced.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, sports

The Deal Is On Strike Three

dealis-on-strike-3Author: Peter Fertig & Rudy Saviano
Illustrator: Penny Musso Weber
Publisher: RSI Publishing
Genre: Children / Baseball
ISBN: 978-0615228648
Pages: 45
Price: $15.95

Author’s website
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The Mighty Casey became a legend when he struck out to end the game. But although there was no joy in Mudville that day, was there perhaps a deeper reason for such an ignominious fate?

The Deal Is On Strike Three tells a tale most folks have never heard – how an evil man had bargained for Casey’s soul, and how his son is given the opportunity to save him. In the same poetic style of the original, the authors share Casey’s son’s secret bargain.

Professional sports offer the promise of fame and fortune, but at what price? This book gives kids another view of the choices players make as they attempt to make a name for themselves. But how much are they willing to give up for fame? The deals they make may be with the devil himself.

“When the final out is made, and the outcome has been sealed, everyone’s a winner, who has played upon the field.” The Deal Is On Strike Three is a great baseball story with a positive message. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger