Force Out

Force Out

4.2 27
by Tim Green
     
 

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When two friends compete, one of them will be forced out.

Joey and Zach have always been best friends. They're also two of the best baseball players in their league, and shoo-ins for the all-star team at the end of the season. Their dream is to play together on the Center State select team, and they will do anything to help each other get there.

So when

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Overview

When two friends compete, one of them will be forced out.

Joey and Zach have always been best friends. They're also two of the best baseball players in their league, and shoo-ins for the all-star team at the end of the season. Their dream is to play together on the Center State select team, and they will do anything to help each other get there.

So when Zach is forced to go on an extra-credit field trip that would make him miss the championship game and his chances to move on, Joey comes up with a risky plan to bail him out. Everything should be fine—as long as no one finds out what they did.

Then the unthinkable happens: The boys learn there's only one open spot on the select team. Suddenly Joey and Zach go from being best friends to biggest rivals, and Joey has to decide his next move. He can play the biggest game of his life, or he can use their secret to force Zach out. How far should Joey go to win?

In this tense, action-packed story that takes an increasingly common dilemma in competitive sports to new heights, former NFL defensive end Tim Green perfectly captures the kids who will push themselves to the limit to compete—even if it means putting everything on the line.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Sixth-graders Joey and Zach share a dream: after the Little League championships, they'll get chosen for the all-stars and, from there, the Center State Select team. The friends are so focused on their goal that Joey comes up with the idea of tampering with their teacher's pickup truck to prevent Mr. Kratz from taking the class on an extra-credit field trip that would keep Zach from participating in the championship game. That action haunts Joey for much of the story, especially since his mom is a sheriff's deputy with an uncanny ability to sniff out the truth. Exhausted and riddled with guilt and worry, he flubs the championship, and, ironically, only Zach is chosen for the all-stars. Joey gets a second chance when one of the players has to back out. Even though his mom is unrelenting in her investigation, Joey begins to believe Zach's prediction that things are going to work out. They are floored when Coach tells them that there is only one open infielder spot on the team. Suddenly, the dynamics of their friendship change, and that change is magnified when Joey discovers that the girl he likes has cast him aside for Zach. The choices that Joey ultimately makes, the realistic portrayal of friendship lost and later restored, and the abundant baseball action guarantee that this book will find wide appeal among Green's many fans.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
ALA Booklist on Best of the Best
“The baseball action is both exciting and laced with savvy tips about playing, coaching, and showing team spirit.”
ALA Booklist
“An engrossing, tightly knit tale.”
Children's Literature - Tiffany Torbeck
Best friends Joey and Zach dream of making the All-Star baseball team and moving on to the elite Center State traveling team, but first they have to win the Little League championship. To do that, Zach needs to get out of a science field trip being held the same day, and that is what leads both boys to be at their teacher's house in the dead of night. They plan to sabotage his truck and thus so that he will have to cancel the field trip. This sports story for reluctant readers will engage those who crave constant cliffhangers and action, but it may frustrate more sophisticated readers. Each chapter ends with such a dramatic moment that the plot feels more like a Choose Your Own Adventure story than a sports novel. Readers are given every opportunity to learn from Joey's mistakes as he continually keeps the truth from his parents and creates misunderstandings between himself and his friends. This novel is full to bursting with lessons regarding being a good friend, close sibling, fair teammate, and honest student. At some point, most readers will want to dispense with the bulk of the preaching and get down to some baseball. Sports stories are perennially popular, so while this is recommended for most libraries, be sure to keep a copy of Mike Lupica's Heat on hand for more serious sports enthusiasts. Reviewer: Tiffany Torbeck
Kirkus Reviews
Two sixth-grade Little Leaguers and best buddies find their friendship tested on and off the diamond. Zach is Joey's best buddy on and off the baseball field, so when Zach needs to get out of a science field trip that's scheduled on the same day as the Little League championship game, the sixth-graders are in it together. But their scheme comes back to haunt them when Zach makes the all-star team instead of Joey, and Joey has to wonder whether he might have won the spot if Zach had gone on the field trip. A cute girl might like only one boy, too. Though Green is no stylist, he does a better job of avoiding the sports fantasy and sticking to real life than usual. There's plenty of play-by-play for those who want the sports to be the focus, but the interactions off the field are never shortchanged. For example, Joey has an obnoxious younger brother, his parents don't always agree, and he learns that trying to dance to a fast song can be as embarrassing as your first almost-kiss. A slice of life for middle school readers who know that their sport is a microcosm of the larger world. (Fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062089618
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
211,902
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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