Three Strikes for Rotten Ralph (Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers)by Jack Gantos, Nicole Rubel (Illustrator)
Before he tries out for the new Fighting Squirrels baseball team, Rotten Ralph is sure he is going to be a superstar. Never mind that he doesn't have any skills and doesn't want to practice. While his owner, Sarah, is doing everything she can to make the team, she tries to help Ralph do his best, too. But with his imagination running wild, Ralph's worst is what
Before he tries out for the new Fighting Squirrels baseball team, Rotten Ralph is sure he is going to be a superstar. Never mind that he doesn't have any skills and doesn't want to practice. While his owner, Sarah, is doing everything she can to make the team, she tries to help Ralph do his best, too. But with his imagination running wild, Ralph's worst is what comes out.
“Gantos and Rubel offer easy reading, funny pictures, and an accessible lesson about humility and hard worksprinkled with some legit baseball pointers.” Publishers Weekly
“Ralph's ... irrepressible rottenness will delight newly independent readers.” Kirkus Reviews
“There is never a dull moment in this colorful and appealing early reader.” School Library Journal
“A quirky but warmhearted baseball story that will amuse young readers, sports fans or not.” Booklist
Has Ralph learned nothing in more than 30 years of misadventures and misbehavior? As always, when faced with a challenge, he takes the path of least effort. Sarah has endless patience with her recalcitrant cat while preparing for baseball tryouts. She practices throwing, fielding and hitting; he just practices his idea of superstar skills, like signing autographs and giving TV interviews. Of course his tryout is a disaster, but he becomes the "cat-boy." When he finally gets his chance, his showboating nearly loses the game. For this Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader, Gantos employs simple, direct language with just the right infusion of baseball jargon. He plays it straight, describing the events, the relationship between child and cat, the baseball action and the celebrity status of the game's heroes. Rubel's bright, sharp cartoons provide the hilarity, depicting Ralph's goofy expressions as he reluctantly performs his duties, including substituting for the "mighty flying squirrel" mascot, all the while imagining himself a hero and a media darling. Ralph's only redeeming quality is his love for Sarah, but his irrepressible rottenness will delight newly independent readers. (Early reader. 6-8)
Meet the Author
Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. They launched the Rotten Ralph Readers in 2001 with Rotten Ralph Helps Out.
In addition to the Rotten Ralph books, Jack Gantos is the author of Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, and Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nicole Rubel's many books include Twice as Nice: What It's Like to Be a Twin and Grody's Not So Golden Rules. She lives in Aurora, Oregon.
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