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Long Shot

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Overview

When Nick and Kia try out for the rep team they played for the previous year, they assume they will make the grade. That is, until they meet the new coach. Suddenly all their assumptions are thrown out the window. Coach Barkley, a former college star who missed out on a pro career due to injury, is a strict disciplinarian, and his aggressive coaching techniques are a new experience for the kids.
The new coach expects near perfection and does not deal well with anything less. When he matches them up against a team of older players and then refuses to accept their loss, the kids begin to wonder if they even want to make this team.

Eric Walters lives in Mississauga, Ontario, and spends as much time as possible visiting kids in classrooms all over the country.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-6 This is an engaging basketball tale even though there is little playing action. Nick loves the game, and he and his best friend and teammate, Kia, were on the all-city team last season. The story revolves around the tryouts for this year's lineup. At the first session, their coach announces that he is retiring and will be replaced by Len Barkley, a former college star athlete whose ankle injury ended his brief pro-ball career. The new, perfectionist coach browbeats and humiliates the kids, especially his own son. When at last he selects 12 members for the team, they all walk out of the gym, led by his son and then Nick. Chastened, the coach visits Nick at home to apologize for his bad behavior, with plans to visit the rest of the team as well. Nick's mom and dad are characterized as concerned and realistic parents who let their son decide about playing for Coach Barkley. The transformation of the coach is a little abrupt and unrealistic, but the comfortable friendship between Nick and Kia is reason enough to add this title to sports-fiction shelves. The way it puts sports participation in proper perspective is another. The black-and-white drawings scattered throughout are of average quality. -Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613627931
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Orca Young Reader Series
  • Pages: 140
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Walters began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his grade-five students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. At the end of the year, one student suggested that he try to have his story published. Since that first creation, Eric has published more than seventy novels. Often his stories incorporate themes that reflect his background in education and social work and his commitment to humanitarian and social-justice issues. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to more than seventy thousand students per year in schools across the country. Eric is a father of three and lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife, Anita. For more information, visit www.ericwalters.net.

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