Hot Hand (Comeback Kids Series)

Hot Hand (Comeback Kids Series)

4.2 36
by Mike Lupica
     
 

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From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

It's simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and his parents newly separated, somehow everything's become complicated. His brother Ben hardly talks anymore. His mom is always traveling on business.

Overview

From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

It's simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and his parents newly separated, somehow everything's become complicated. His brother Ben hardly talks anymore. His mom is always traveling on business. And his dad is always on his case about not being a team player. But when Ben's piano recital falls on the same day as the championship game, it's Billy who teaches his dad the meaning of being a team player.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Comeback Kids:
 
“Lupica portrays the action clearly and vividly, with a real sense of the excitement and unpredictable nature of the games. These are worthy additions to collections seeking to draw in middle-grade boys with an enthusiasm for athletics.” –School Library Journal
 
“These should score big with middle-graders looking for alternatives to Matt Christopher's titles.” –Publisher’s Weekly
 
“This title is a good choice for reluctant readers with a background in baseball.” –School Library Journal
For young hoopster Billy Raynor, life holds no higher purpose than a perfectly executed, game-winning three-point shot. But lately, things have shown him that the world is a bit more complicated than his basketball dreams. His parents have separated; his piano prodigy brother is retreating into silence; his mother is always gone; and his coach/dad can't seem to conceal his irritation that Ben isn't a team player. Mike Lupica's sports novel intertwines athletic excitement with a convincing examination of human problems that kids can understand.
Publishers Weekly

Lupica (Miracle on 49th Street) again relays fast-paced basketball action in this involving first volume of the Comeback Kids series. The narrative moves equally sure-footedly off-court to explore the dynamics of 10-year-old Billy's family. His parents have recently separated, and his father, Joey, has moved to another house. Joey is also Billy's demanding, hot-headed basketball coach, constantly criticizing his son for shooting rather than passing during games. Billy's well-intentioned mother works long hours as a lawyer and travels frequently. Younger brother Ben, as passionate about the piano as Billy is about basketball, becomes increasingly withdrawn and, alarmingly, begins to skip piano lessons. Billy comes to Ben's rescue when a school bully picks on him, but resents feeling that his often-absent parents expect him to take care of his vulnerable brother. Tensions peak when Ben's piano recital and Billy's championship game occur at the same time; their mother is called out of town, and their father refuses to miss the game for Ben's recital. The resolution is pat, but pleasing-although not as pleasing as the sports writing. Lupica moves to the gridiron in the series' Two-Minute Drill, due the same month. These should score big with middle-graders looking for alternatives to Matt Christopher's titles.Ages 8-up. (Sept.)

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Children's Literature
Billy is mad when his dad moves out because he, his brother Ben, and their sister are often left with the nanny while their mother is away on business. Ben, a piano prodigy, is also upset by the parent’s separation. He is so quiet that no one notices his anguish until Billy discovers that Ben is not going to his piano lessons. Basketball gives Billy his happiest moments, in spite of the fact that his dad, as the coach, comes down hard on him. Billy likes to shoot as often as possible and is backed up by his friend Lenny. Billy’s dad wants him to learn to pass and be part of the team. The crisis comes when the final basketball game and Ben’s recital are scheduled for the same time. Billy has to choose between playing in his game and supporting his younger brother. This is part of the “Comeback Kids” series. Against the background of his parent’s separation, Billy tries to balance his own needs with the needs of his team and his family. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142414415
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/14/2009
Series:
Comeback Kids Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
375,774
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
930L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

One
 
It had been three days since Billy Raynor’s dad told them that he was going to live in a different house.
 
His mom explained that it was something known as a “trial separation.”
 
Yeah, Billy thought, a separation of thirteen blocks— he’d counted them up after looking at the map in the phone book—plus the train station, plus the biggest park in town, Waverly Park, where all the ballfields were.
 
His parents could call it a “trial separation” all they wanted, try to wrap the whole thing up in grown- up language, the way grown- ups did when they had something bad to tell you. But they weren’t fooling Billy.
 
His dad had left them.
 
Now his mom was leaving, too.

She wasn’t leaving for good. It was just another one of her business trips, one Billy had known was coming. She’d told him and his sister and his little brother that she had to go back up to Boston for a few days because of this big case she was working on. A real trial, instead of a dumb trial separation. That was why it was no big surprise to him that her suitcases were in the front hall again, lined up like fat toy soldiers. And why it was no surprise that the car taking her to the airport, one that looked exactly like the other long, black, take-her-to-the-airport cars, was parked in the driveway with the motor running.
 
Another getaway car, Billy thought to himself, like in a movie.
 
From the time his mom had started to get famous as a lawyer, even going on television sometimes, she always seemed to be going somewhere. Now it was because of a case she’d been working on for a while. She said it was an important one.
 
But as far as Billy could tell, they all were.
 
So she was going to be up in Boston for a few days. And his dad was now on the other side of town, even though it already felt to Billy like the other side of the whole country. Billy was ten, and both his parents were always telling him how bright he was. But he wasn’t bright enough to figure out what had happened to their family this week.
 
He wondered sometimes if he was ever going to figure out grown-ups.
 
His best friend, Lenny, said you had a better chance of figuring out girls.
 
All he knew for sure, right now, the end of his first official week of living with only one parent in the house, was this: It was about to be no parents in the house. And on this Saturday morning, with his sixteen- year- old sister, Eliza, still at a sleepover and his brother, Ben, already at his piano lesson, pretty soon it would be the quietest house in the world. With their dad gone, at least the arguing between his parents had stopped. Only now Billy couldn’t decide what was worse, the arguing or the quiet.
 
Of course, Peg would be around. Peg: the nanny who had always seemed to be so much more to Billy.
 
To him, Peg had always been like a mom who came off the bench and into the game every time suitcases were lined up in the hall again and one of the black cars was back in the driveway. It had been that way with Peg even before his dad had up and moved out.
 
Billy’s mom had finished up a call on her cell phone while he finished his breakfast. His dad used to make the pancakes on Saturdays. But his mom had done it today, maybe trying to act like things were normal even if they both knew they weren’t.
 
His mom, whose first name was Lynn, sat down next to him on one of the high chairs they used when they were eating at the counter in the middle of the kitchen.
 
“Hey, pal,” she said.
 
“Hey.”
 
He speared the last piece of pancake and pushed it through the puddle of syrup on his plate.
 
“I’m sorry to be leaving so soon, after. . . .” She hesitated, like she would sometimes when Billy would hear her upstairs in her bedroom, practicing one of her courtroom speeches at night.
 
“After Dad left us,” Billy said. “That’s what you were going to say, wasn’t it?”
 
“You’re right, I was,” his mom said. “So soon after that. But you understand it can’t be helped, right? I know you don’t think your dad and I did a very good job of explaining what’s happened to us all. But I hope I explained why I had to go back up to Boston today.”
 
Billy the bright boy said, “Mom, I know it’s your job.”
 
“And,” Lynn Raynor said, “you understand why I’m having you and Ben and Eliza stay here with Peg and not move over to your dad’s place, don’t you?”
 
His mom had already gone over this about ten times. Now Billy was afraid she was going to do it all over again. Maybe it was something lawyers did, explained things until you practically knew them by heart.
 
“I understand that part, Mom,” he said. “This is our home. And you don’t want us to get in the habit of going back and forth between you and dad until—”
 
“Until this whole thing sorts itself out,” his mom said, finishing his thought for him.
 
Billy nodded, even though that was the part he really didn’t get, since it seemed to him that things had sorted themselves out already.
 
They were here.
 
His dad was there.
 
Case closed, as his mom liked to say.
 
“Got it,” he said.
 
“Hey,” she said, getting down off her chair.
 
“How about a hug?”
 
Billy jumped down and gave her one, harder than he’d planned. What she had always called the Big One.
 
“You be the man of the house while I’m away,” she said. “Okay?”
 
“Okay.”
 
It was the same thing his father had said on Wednesday before he drove away.
 
But Billy Raynor didn’t want to be the man of the house.
 
He just wanted to be a kid.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for the Comeback Kids:
 
“Lupica portrays the action clearly and vividly, with a real sense of the excitement and unpredictable nature of the games. These are worthy additions to collections seeking to draw in middle-grade boys with an enthusiasm for athletics.” –School Library Journal
 
“These should score big with middle-graders looking for alternatives to Matt Christopher's titles.” –Publisher’s Weekly
 
“This title is a good choice for reluctant readers with a background in baseball.” –School Library Journal

Meet the Author

Mike Lupica is the author of multiple bestselling books for young readers, including QB 1, Heat, Travel Team, Million-Dollar Throw, and The Underdogs. He has carved out a niche as the sporting world’s finest storyteller. Mike lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children. When not writing novels, Mike Lupica writes for New York's Daily News, appears on ESPN's The Sports Reporters and hosts The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN Radio. You can visit Mike Lupica at mikelupicabooks.com
 

Customer Reviews

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Hot Hand (Comeback Kids Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book!!!!!! Mike Lupica strikes again ;D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best, but still pretty good.Id recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1. Book 1: Hot Hand Author: Mike Lupica 2. The editorial review list who all the main characters of my story was, it also says what is the theme of the story it also gave a summary of the story. 3. They gave the book a 5 star . I agree with the rate they gave my book. Because the book was very good. But there was 1 one i didn’t agree with because they gave my book a 3 star review, because i think that my book is a 5 star book. 4. It came from a reader review, I thought I thought it was helpful because it told me what star i should give my book. 5.In a reveiw you should include what star it is, what the book is about, and what is the theme. 6. Yes, they should want it in a review because that is what is most important in a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book I like how it has a problem and that is dad didn't baby him like turkeytits dad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book that was very encouraging
SwagCam12 More than 1 year ago
I chose this book because I love to play basketball, and I like the author. I’m on a competition basketball team right now with a few of my friends. I thought this book would be all about basketball and how Billy never misses a shot all season. I didn’t expect to read about how much he loves his little brother and helps him deal with a bully at school and their family drama. This book was even better than I was expecting. It showed that Billy loved something as much as he loved basketball. Billy Raynor is an amazing player who spends all of his time playing basketball with his best friend Lenny Dinardo who is also a star player on the team. Billy has an older sister named Eliza  who is obsessed with clothes and her teenage life. Ben is the younger brother to Billy and is a piano prodigy. Billy and his dad love sports and have bonded over basketball but they bring their  family problems to the court. His dad is a tough coach and expects a lot from Billy. He also thinks Billy is a ball hog. Everyone in the Raynor family is wrapped up in their own lives and no one is  talking about their feelings. Billy and Ben seem to have the hardest time dealing with their parent’s separation. This books talks a lot about basketball techniques and can teach anyone more about this sport. I liked this book for two reasons. 1. It Is full of exciting basketball experiences and showed that Billy and Lenny are very dedicated to basketball. These best friends played in the snow and late at night to improve their skills.  2. Billy defends his little brother against the school bully that is named- Zeke the Geek. The bully was squeezing Ben’s arm and Billy was worried that it would affect his piano playing. Billy’s dad was mad that he was fighting at school and made him sit out one whole basketball game.  Even if you don’t love sports this book will help you to understand more about the game of basketball and maybe even like it. I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 9 up. I give this book 5 stars because it was full of action on and off the court.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Makes you feel like you can do anything
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book if you like basketball
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book -swagg monstr 007
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give that book a1000000000
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Comeback Kids Mike Lupica This is a good book. I enjoyed reading it and hope you will too. The story is about a rec basketball team. Billy, is the main character. He is also the coaches son. Lenny, is billy's best friend and he,is on his basketball team. They play the game good with each other. There is some controversy between Billy and his father. This is happening at practices, during games, and outside the basketball court. What is the cause of all of this. Will they be able to work things out. Read the book and discover the answer. If you like basketball then you will love this book.
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Since I like basketball my reading teacher told me about this book.When I started reading it.I thought it would be boring but it tern out being exciting. When I finsh it I sarted raeding Travle Team. I love it.