Rookie of the Year

illus. by Tim Probert. 224p. (Rip and Red: Bk. 2). Farrar. Jul. 2016. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780374301347.
Gr 4–6—In this sequel, readers return to fifth grade with Red (a red-haired boy on the autism spectrum) and his best friend Rip (an African American boy with dreadlocks) and their friends and classmates. Red and Rip continue to love and play basketball and are on the team coached by their teacher Mr. Acevedo. Those new to the series will get enough details and will be completely engaged in the shot-by-shot descriptions of basketball games. Added to the class is a new student, Takara (Tiki). Tiki is that student who loves to be involved in everything. One of her best quirks is inventing new words. Tiki is also an excellent basketball player. Rip has a run-in with Coach Acevedo when he puts Tiki into the first team out each game and leaves Rip for the second. Rip is hurt and angry, but only time and experience on the basketball court will bring Rip to an understanding. The secondary part of the plot is the plan, by the class, to get rid of the new lunch ladies and bring back the Lunch Bunch and their better meals. It includes mounting a GoPro camera on the back of classmate Avery's wheelchair. As in the first title, there are no surprises, but that doesn't prevent this from being a great read.
VERDICT This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.

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