Henry and his four friends on Rockford Road are an unbeatable basketball teamon their driveway court. But without team T-shirts or an official name, can they take on the Tigers, a team that plays at the huge YWCA and has a player old enough to shave? Henry feels sure he can lead his friends to victory, but is he really a team player? Or is he a ball hog?
There's nothing Goose wants more than to play goalie for his soccer team. It looks like so much funand so easy!on TV. But can he quit daydreaming long enough to stop the ball? With Henry's training, Goose is sure he can go from goof-off to goalie in no time. Just as Goose starts to improve, Henry gets grounded because his grades are slipping. Will Goose help Henry in return? Or is being a goalie more important than friendship?
Basketball Bats and Goof-Off Goalie are both 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Books of the Year.
About the Author
Betty Hicks is the author of I Smell Like Ham and Animal House and Iz, as well as Out of Order and Busted!, which are both available from Square Fish. She's been praised for her works for older readers, now she turns her talents to chapter books for younger kids. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Adam McCauley is the illustrator of the successful middle-grade fiction series, The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka and Louis Sachar's Wayside School books.
Read an Excerpt
Basketball Bats / Goof-Off Goalie
By Betty Hicks
Square FishCopyright © 2009 Betty Hicks
All right reserved.
BASKETBALL BATS / GOOF-OFF GOALIE
Basketball BatsGYMSHORTSBetty Hicks
Illustrated by Adam McCauleyNEW YORK
Henry and his four friends on Rockford Road are an unbeatable basketball team--on their driveway court. But without team T-shirts or an official name, can they take on the Tigers, a team that plays at the huge YWCA and has a player old enough to shave? Henry feels sure he can lead his friends to victory, but is he really a team player? Or is he a ball hog?
"With McCauley's expressive spot illustrations accompanying Hicks's breezily simple text, this series will be a great stepping-stone for reluctant or new readers, easily introducing topical issues with its blend of humor and sports. A real score!"--Kirkus Reviews
"In this promising start for the Gym Shorts series, Hicks finds just the right balance between story line, play-by-play action, and wry humor ... . Nearly every double-page spread includes a droll illustration by McCauley, the illustrator of Scieszka's Time Warp Trio series. A winner for young sports fans."--Booklist
LEXILE 340L1BUG JUICEHenry felt lucky. He had four friends.Exactly enough to make a basketball team.To Henry, playing sports was better than triple-scoop ice cream. Better than the circus coming to town. Better than anything.Henry dribbled the ball just inside the chalk line he'd drawn across his driveway. It marked the boundary of his backyard basketball court.He did a spin move and drove for the basket. A layup is too easy, thought Henry. Instead, he pulled up short. He aimed and threw up a mid-range jump shot. Swish!"I could squash you like a bug," snarled a gruff voice."Huh?" Henry stared at the boy at the top of his driveway. He had spiky hair. His body slouched to one side."Me and my friends," said Tough Guy. "The Tigers.We can beat anybody.""Yeah?" said Henry."Well, my friends are good, too.""I doubt it," sneered Tough Guy.I'd like to squash him like a bug, thought Henry.But he didn't say it out loud. Instead, he said, "We challenge you. Tomorrow. Right here--three o'clock.""Your funeral," said Tough Guy.BASKETBALL BATS. Text copyright © 2008 by Betty Hicks. Illustrations copyright © 2008 by Adam McCauley. All rights reserved. For information, address Square Fish, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.
Excerpted from Basketball Bats / Goof-Off Goalie by Betty Hicks Copyright © 2009 by Betty Hicks. Excerpted by permission.
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