Athlete vs. Mathlete

( 10 )

Overview

Owen Evans lights up the scoreboards. His brother, Russell, rocks the school boards. These twin brothers couldn't be more different. They've long kept the peace by going their separate ways, but all that is about to change. The new basketball coach recruits Russell for the seventh grade team and a jealous Owen has to fight to stay in the game. When someone tries to steal Russell's spot as captain of the mathlete team, will the two be able to put aside their differences in order ...

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Athlete vs. Mathlete

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Overview

Owen Evans lights up the scoreboards. His brother, Russell, rocks the school boards. These twin brothers couldn't be more different. They've long kept the peace by going their separate ways, but all that is about to change. The new basketball coach recruits Russell for the seventh grade team and a jealous Owen has to fight to stay in the game. When someone tries to steal Russell's spot as captain of the mathlete team, will the two be able to put aside their differences in order to save his position? Or will they be sidelined?

Perfect for fans of Matt Christopher and Andrew Clements alike, this is a lighthearted and hilarious look at what happens when brains meets brawn meets basketball.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this series opener, Mack (After All, You’re Callie Boone) introduces athletic seventh-grader Owen and his klutzy, academic-minded fraternal twin, Russell. The boys are content with their respective roles until the new school basketball coach, impressed by Russell’s height, invites him to try out for the team. No one is more shocked than Russell when he makes the cut, along with Owen, but his victory precipitates a flurry of conflicts for both boys. Although Russell shows an uncanny talent for making three-pointers, his dribbling skills are sorely lacking, and basketball practice interferes with his responsibilities as leader of his academic competition group. Meanwhile, Owen resents the attention Russell gets as he crosses into sports territory (“Even though I knew it wouldn’t be a big deal to anyone else, I hated that Russ suddenly had the cool shoes and the awesome jump shot”). Offering an honest and funny representation of sibling rivalry and peer pressure, this contemporary tale, told from the boys’ alternating points of view, ought to find a large fan base. Ages 8–12. Agent: Sally Harding, the Cooke Agency. (Feb.)
VOYA - Alicia Abdul
Twin brothers who have nothing in common but the same parents are the main characters of this dually-narrated story. Where Owen is an athlete, his brother, Russell, is content being on his Masters of the Mind team, flexing his brain rather than his brawn. With little character development and an even thinner plot line, Russell is recruited by the new basketball coach to try out for the team, putting his geek status on hold in favor of playing ball. The Evans patriarch is excited to have both sons playing basketball and spares no expense in getting Russell new shoes and outfits, irritating Owen, especially because Russell seems to have some skill though his self-doubt gets in the way. While Owen ruminates about Russell’s possible addition to his team, Russell is torn between his brainy teammates and now overnight, his new basketball teammates after he makes the team. Expectantly, there is an immediate conflict for Russell’s time between these two teams, with a feel-good ending that any realist will see right through. There are no surprises with the plot or the characters, with brotherly jealousy in the limelight. The light-hearted banter and family dynamics make it wholesome and sweet: no dead or abusive parents, and no relationship issues to get in the way. This book will sit well on shelves for school libraries that target middle school students wanting clean stories. Ages 11 to 15.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Owen Evans and Russell Evans are twelve-year-old fraternal twins, and about as un-identical as two twins can be. Owen is the popular jock of the duo; Russell is the nerdy brain. Owen plans to be the star of the seventh grade basketball team; Russell plans to lead the middle school's Masters of Mind team to victory. But then the school's new basketball coach catches a glimpse of super-tall Russell in the hallway and orders him to try out for the team. Owen good-naturedly coaches his awkward twin the best he can to save Russell from the inevitable disgrace that will come when he reveals his klutziness on the court. But when Russell unexpectedly makes the team, both brothers need to reconsider the narrow identities into which they have locked themselves. In clearly labeled chapters alternating point of view between Owen and Russell, author Mack touchingly shows the sweetness for Russell of finally winning approval from his athletic dad, and the bitterness for Owen of having to share his talent, his friends, and his world with his twin. Even though jealousy leads Owen to behave in almost an unforgivably nasty way, Mack lets us see the hurting heart that triggers the misbehavior, and forgive. While the insertion of Owen into Russell's mathlete world isn't handled as smoothly as the insertion of Russell into Owen's athlete world, this tale of shifting self-identity should strike a chord with adolescent readers trying to sort out who they are and where they belong. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
Kirkus Reviews
Seventh-grade fraternal twins Owen and Russell are as different as night and day, and that spells trouble when both of them make the basketball team. Owen is the quintessential jock: He plays basketball nearly all the time, and when he isn't playing, he's thinking about it. Russell, more concerned with academics, serves as leader of his school's Masters of the Mind team, a group that competes against other schools to solve tough mental puzzles. He's generally regarded as physically inept. Russell and Owen don't understand each other's worlds, but previously, it hardly seemed to matter. Then the new coach asks Russell to try out for the team because he's tall, and with that height comes a surprisingly satisfying skill in blocking shots. Owen, no longer the sole star athlete in his family, becomes increasingly jealous as his father, who once more or less ignored Russell, begins to focus on both sons. Chapters alternate between the brothers' first-person accounts, providing readers with a nice look at their diametrically opposed thinking. Russell's chapters are amusing, as he discovers unexpected talents and abilities. Owen comes across as much less attractive; readers may be surprised by the level of his anger and his childish behavior. Despite the differing perspectives, though, it's never more than a superficial exploration of the differences between brothers, enlivened by welcome infusions of basketball. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599908588
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 67,975
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

W.C. MACK is the author of numerous books for children, including After All, You're Callie Boone and the Canadian hockey novel Hat Trick. She was raised in Vancouver and now lives in Portland. www.wcmack.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2013

    Great book for boys, especially those who struggle with their id

    Great book for boys, especially those who struggle with their identity and who people think they are - whether it be sporty, smart, quiet, popular, etc. The secondary characters and their attitudes seem pretty genuine to the real world and help maintain the sense of realness in the story. This book is also fairly easy to read which makes it good for a wide age range and reluctant readers.
    I received a copy of this book as a judge for the Cybils awards. All opinions are strictly my own.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2013

    This was a great story about brothers who seem so different at f

    This was a great story about brothers who seem so different at first glance. Each one has some things to learn about the other as well as about himself. Can't wait to read the sequel!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2014

    PEACE

    This is a awesome book you should read this book and at my school it is a blue bonett book which is whiteside elementrey school.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    the best book ever

    This book is the best now time to read the next book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2014

    Awesome

    This book is amazing

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2014

    athlete vs mathlete

    never read it but seems like a good book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    F

    L

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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