Scaredy-Cat Catcher

( 1 )

Overview

The latest book in the Gym Shorts series is a grand slam with new readers.

Rocky was the best catcher in the league until an out-of-control runner broke his arm. Now his arm is healed, but he's developed a reflex that keeps him from tagging out the runner. Young readers will root for Rocky as he and his friends--and even his dog, Chops--set out to prove that he's no scaredy-cat.

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Scaredy-Cat Catcher

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Overview

The latest book in the Gym Shorts series is a grand slam with new readers.

Rocky was the best catcher in the league until an out-of-control runner broke his arm. Now his arm is healed, but he's developed a reflex that keeps him from tagging out the runner. Young readers will root for Rocky as he and his friends--and even his dog, Chops--set out to prove that he's no scaredy-cat.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The fast-moving plot, straightforward writing style, and illustrations on every spread make this selection ideal for students new to chapter books and for reluctant readers.” —School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
In this latest edition of the "Gym Shorts" series, kids will read about Rocky and his frustrations when he lets his friends and teammates down. Rocky is an amazing baseball catcher—until a base-runner slides into home plate and breaks Rocky's arm. A year later Rocky's arm has healed, but his arm will not stay by the plate to tag runners out when they come home. This results in the opposing team's scoring a lot of runs—leaving Rocky's teammates torn between disappointment for losing games and understanding why Rocky has a hard time tagging runners out. This short chapter book combines popular children's activities (sports—in this case baseball) with realistic problems (kids will empathize with Rocky's predicament). The result is a book that is easy to read and has high appeal for beginning readers. Although the majority of the book is words, readers will not be overwhelmed because of the black and white illustrations scattered throughout the text. This book will be a welcome addition to readers who have a big love of sports and are just starting their love of reading. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

Last season, Rocky was the best catcher in his league, until a hit from a player who was sliding into home plate broke his arm. He has high hopes for making the all-star team this year, but every time he tries to tag a runner out, he jerks up his arm instinctively, a reflex he's developed after last season's injury. With the help of his friends, a supportive coach, and his bulldog, Chops (who is recovering from an accident of his own), Rocky eventually finds the courage to tag players out again. Rocky is not a quitter, and his determination and willingness to practice are key to his recovery. Full of baseball terminology, the story will be most interesting to sports enthusiasts, though others may be interested in the boy's relationships with his friends and dog. The fast-moving plot, straightforward writing style, and illustrations on every spread make this selection ideal for students new to chapter books and for reluctant readers, as well as fans of the previous titles in the series.-Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596432468
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Series: Gym Shorts Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,494,437
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

BETTY HICKS is the author of the GYM SHORTS series--action-filled sports stories that pack the energy of the gym into short novels for kids reading their first novel. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

ADAM McCAULEY is the illustrator of the Time Warp Trio and the Wayside School books. He lives in San Francisco, California.

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Reading Group Guide

One of the best ways to explore the themes of a books—the author’s "messages"—and to enjoy a book is to discuss it with others who have read the book. Organize a weekly GYM SHORTS book group in your classroom. Any student can participate, as long as they’ve read at least one of the books in the series.

Provide the group with a list of possible discussion questions, and allow one of the students to lead the discussion. We’ve prepared this list of discussion topics so that the week’s discussion leader can select those she or he wants to discuss and use them as is.

1. Cooperation or team-work (since the books are sports centered) is a major theme of the novels. Introduce the subject of cooperation by citing an example of how the kids in the books cooperate. A good place to start is to identify the goal in one of the books. Then ask: What did the kids do together to reach the goal? Have any of your classmates read other books, seen any movies or television shows, or heard a real-life story about how cooperation helped achieve a purpose? Can any of them talk about a personal experience with cooperation that made a job easier to accomplish?

2. Competition is another theme in the GYM SHORTS books. Betty Hicks tells us how she feels about this subject: "Win or lose, I think competition should be fun, fair, and exciting. It helps young people learn how to be part of a team and how to handle victory as well as defeat—all things which come in handy in many areas besides sports." With this in mind, talk about competition and winning. How do you and your classmates feel about it in the sports you play yourselves? How about the sports you watch? Are you true to your teams whether they are on a winning streak or losing?

3. Another theme in the books is that success/winning is never guaranteed, but it’s a sure thing that you can’t succeed unless you work hard and try. Which characters learn this lesson in which books? Have your classmates ever tried really hard, but still didn’t succeed to the level they hoped? Talk about the way the characters in the book feel and react to this? How did the kids in your class react to this in their own lives?

4. Another important theme in the GYM SHORTS titles is being true to yourself. Friends are important—in your life and your classmates’ lives, and in the lives of the characters in the books. But it is even more important for each person to understand who he or she is, and to be the best person possible. Certainly, Rita learns this lesson in Swimming with Sharks. Sometimes you can’t just fit in with everyone else—but that doesn’t mean you all can’t be friends. What experiences have your classmates had that showed them the truth of this lesson?

5. Friendship is the most important theme of all in the GYM SHORTS books. Talk about the kinds of friends your classmates have and the kind of friend each of them is. Kids often say, "I’ll do anything for my best friend." Do your classmates agree? Would you lie for your best friend? What are the most important qualities of a friend?

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Buster Posey

    Im going to be the next Buster Posey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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