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Miracle on 49th Street

Miracle on 49th Street

4.6 105
by Mike Lupica

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After her mother's death, 12-year-old Molly learns that her father is a basketball star for the Boston Celtics.


After her mother's death, 12-year-old Molly learns that her father is a basketball star for the Boston Celtics.

Editorial Reviews

Until Molly Parker walked up to him in the parking lot, Boston Celtics MVP Josh Cameron didn't know exactly what he was missing. What apparently was lacking in his life was a 12-year-old daughter. Sportswriter Mike Lupica has written a novel about connection that even a championship ring can't give you. A bittersweet family story.
Publishers Weekly
Lupica's latest follows his sports-themed bestsellers (Travel Team; Heat) with less sports and more theme. The crackerjack opening finds 12-year-old Molly Parker craftily stalking Boston Celtics superstar Josh Cameron by skipping out on a Kids Day fan event and hiding beside his SUV. Molly has two bombs to drop on Cameron who, until now, has led a charmed existence. The first is that his college sweetheart, Jen, who he hasn't seen since she left for her junior year abroad, is dead from cancer; the second is that Molly is his daughter. The narrative tension produced by a millionaire sports star, who's sure he's being played, and Molly, who swipes his cap knowing a few stray strands of hair are all that's needed for a DNA test, fizzles when Molly decides she wants Josh to accept her as his daughter without medical proof. Still Lupica is an extraordinarily smooth writer with a great ear for witty repartee (at times perhaps too witty, for a 12-year-old character). The lack of sports action here makes this unlikely to be as popular with sports fans as the previous books, but Molly's emotional yearning for a parent, the humor provided by her sidekick, Sam, and the inside-the-Garden view of the Celtics, will carry many straight through to the Hollywood ending. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
49th Street in New York City is the site of the famous Christmas tree overlooking the skating rink at Rockefeller Center; it's also where twelve-year-old Molly Perkins's mother Jen created bittersweet memories with her college beau, Josh Cameron. Now, twelve years later, Josh Cameron is a basketball star, MVP of the Boston Celtics; Jen is dead of cancer; and Molly introduces herself for the first time to the man Jen finally told her is her father. Josh denies the relationship, cynically fearing a scam to get his money and tarnish his wholesome media image, but his wise, tough African-American housekeeper (in something of a Mammy stereotype) encourages him to develop a relationship with Molly anyway. Molly refuses to let Josh test the truth of Jen's claims through DNA matching: in a parallel to Miracle of 34th Street, she wants him to believe. Acclaimed sportswriter Lupica is a master storyteller, who lets Molly's story unfold with nail-biting suspense, as she and her adoptive family are about to leave Boston forever the day after Christmas—can Molly convince Josh before it's too late? And does she even really want to? The whole cast of characters—Molly's best friend, Sam; her adoptive sister, Kimberly; and other Celtics players—is vividly depicted. And Lupica does indeed succeed in bringing the reader to tears by the end of the story: we just can't hold out against him, and surrender wholeheartedly to the magic of this completely satisfying tale.
VOYA - Marian Rafal
Courageous beyond her twelve years, Molly Parker is a determined young girl-determined to prove that Boston Celtics superstar Josh Cameron is her father; determined to become a part of his life; determined that he will love her. Before she died of cancer, Molly's mother left her a series of letters. One letter claimed that Josh was Molly's father, but she had not been told until now because, as Molly tells Josh, "Mom said you wouldn't have been any better at loving me than you were at loving her." Humoring Molly, but not quite believing her, Josh agrees to let Molly have access to him and the Celtics. Molly refuses DNA testing because she wants Josh to want to be her father and not simply have to be her father. The strained relationship with her guardian Barbara, mom's best friend from college, rings true, as Molly searches for emotional balance, losing her mother and not yet able to claim her father. Uprooted when her mother was dying, Molly is about to be uprooted again, as her new family is moving to California shortly. Will Josh acknowledge that he is her father? Molly and her friend Sam are enterprising twelve-year-olds, often seeming more mature than their age. Their navigational skills throughout Boston and New York are extraordinary. Despite such shortcomings, this novel is still an enjoyable read with interesting peeks into the world of professional basketball. It will appeal to young teen sports enthusiasts as well as kids just looking for a good story.
KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
As the novel opens, Molly Parker is waiting outside a Boston Celtics' practice to meet Josh Cameron, the media darling and captain of the basketball team. Molly is in Boston because her mother has recently died of cancer and Josh Cameron just might be the father she has never known. She is living with Bill and Barbara Evans and their prissy daughter, Kimberly. Lupica takes his readers inside the NBA with the agents, the media, the players, the endorsements and, of course, the fans. Cameron is the squeaky clean player who is not ready to accept an unknown daughter from a college sweetheart. He waffles between wanting to accept Molly and not knowing how to fit a preteen into his life. Molly is a smart-mouthed kid with a nerdy best friend Sam, who stands beside her through the ups and downs of trying to connect with a superstar father. Molly struggles to establish a new "family" for herself in the wake of her mother's death. Josh's uncertainty seems to waver between not believing Molly and not wanting to hurt his promising career and endorsements. Friendship is a key element throughout the story and Molly's friends are as diverse as classmate Sam and Josh's housekeeper, Mattie. There is basketball talk and a couple of basketball games but the real story is one of learning to build trust. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the complexity of relationships, especially those both inside and outside the spotlight.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Molly Parker,12, lives in Boston with her recently deceased mother's best friend and family. She is on a mission to meet the Celtics' star player, Josh Cameron, to tell him that she is his daughter. With the help of her friend Sam, she sneaks into the athlete's car so that they will have the opportunity to talk. Self-centered Josh is skeptical of her claim, yet spends time with her. However, his sinister agent, Bobby, worries that knowledge of Molly's existence will destroy his client's clean-cut image, and he tells her to get lost. She almost despairs of ever convincing Josh of their relationship before she moves to California with her new family. But after finding an encouraging note her mother had left, she travels to New York, where Josh has a game, and the two reconcile at the Rockefeller Center skating rink. Lupica creates intriguing, complex characters in Molly, Sam, and Josh, and he paces his story well, with enough twists and cliff-hangers to keep the pages turning. Molly's relationships with others in Josh's life, such as a teammate and his housekeeper, contrast nicely with her up-and-down relationship with her father. In spite of a few implausible events, some sentimentality, and a bit of predictability, this is an entertaining work. The strong female character and the basketball tie-in will expand its appeal.-Jeffrey A. French, Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, Willowick, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Molly Parker loves "happy-ending fairy-tale" movies such as The Princess Diaries and Miracle on 34th Street. But her own life seems like a gigantic puzzle with the pieces not quite coming together. Her mother died of cancer, and she thinks her father is Josh Cameron, star of the Boston Celtics. Whether Josh will acknowledge Molly as his daughter or will "play her" to protect his good-guy image in the press is the tension in this story that dissects layers of Molly's self-deception, faulty reasoning and earnest hopes, and the layers of entrapment a sports star can experience. Though some readers will find the fairy-tale ending melodramatic, others will find it perfectly in tune with the way Molly dreams her life will turn out, and predictable for Josh, who had given up on happy endings. Add this to Lupica's Travel Team (2004) and Heat (April 2006) for well-written sports novels with sure-fire fan appeal. (Fiction. 10-14)
From the Publisher
Lupica delivers a winning novel, creating a realistic character in Molly by authentically capturing both her fragility and pluck. (Booklist)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Miracle on 49th Street

By Mike Lupica

Penguin Young Readers Group

Copyright © 2007 Mike Lupica
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-14-240942-8

Chapter 1
Molly Parker wasn’t here for some stupid autograph. She wasn’t even here for the open practice the Celtics had run today, their last practice before they would begin the regular season tomorrow night against the 76ers.Though she had to admit that it was pretty cool to sit with the other kids and their parents inside the Celtics’ practice gym at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint, which didn’t so much sound like the name of a basketball court but the answer to some kind of essay question.
The Celtics had scheduled their annual Kids Day practice at four o’clock so that the parents—moms mostly, Molly noticed that right off—could pick up their kids at school or at the bus and get them here on time. Molly, who’d gotten out here to Waltham early, had watched a lot of them pull up to the entrance to the big public parking lot on the side, feeling as if she were watching some kind of parade for SUVs.
Yuppie limos, her mom liked to call them.
Of course, then her mom would wonder if anybody in America even used the word yuppie anymore, or if there was some kind of new description for all the moms driving Suburbans and Land Cruisers and Explorers.
“Pretty soon there’ll be double-decker versions of these monsters,” Jennifer Parker would say to Molly. “Like our red London buses.”
When they had finally come back for good from London, the only place Molly had ever thought of as home, her mom had acted as if everything was new to her, as if the country she’d grown up in had now become foreign, just because she’d been away for over twelve years.
One day when they were driving on the Mass Pike, Jennifer Parker—Jen to her friends—had found herself in the middle lane, with big SUVs on both sides of their rented Taurus.
“Okay,” her mom said, “that’s it. I know we’ve only been back a few weeks, but they’re going to need to build a bigger country.”
“Mom,” Molly said that day, “you’re going to have to let go on the whole car thing.”
Her mom grinned then, because she was the coolest and always got the joke.
“Did I ever by any chance mention the Volkswagen bug I used to drive around in college?”
And Molly had said, “Oh, no, Mom. Never. Not one single time. No kidding—you used to have a Volkswagen bug in college? It wasn’t fire-engine red by any chance, was it?”
Then they’d both laughed. Because they both always got the joke, even if it was one as old as the one about her old college car.
In the players’ parking lot now, behind the Sports Authority building, leaning against the wheel of his SUV, Molly closed her eyes, picturing her and her mother in the front seat of the rented car that day, waiting to see how that particular snapshot, from the album she carried around her head, was going to affect her.
Nothing today.
Progress, Molly thought.
Or maybe progress had not one stinking thing to do with it, maybe she was just too wired—a Mom word—to focus on anything except what was going to happen next.
Practice had been over for twenty minutes or so. The players had scattered to different points on the court to sign autographs. All the players except the one the kids in the house really wanted: Josh Cameron.
Not just the biggest star on the Celtics, but the biggest star in the NBA, and maybe any sport right now.
One of the young guys who worked for the Celtics had gotten on the microphone and said that because they knew it would be a mob scene if Josh tried to sign something for every boy and girl in the gym, he—Josh—had a surprise for them all. In the lobby waiting for them on the way out, the guy from the Celtics said, everyone in attendance today would be handed a special Josh Cameron goody bag. Inside was an autographed youth basketball, Celtics cap, and a T-shirt from Josh’s summer basketball camp in Maine.
Then Josh Cameron himself, looking a little bigger to Molly than he did on television, maybe because he wasn’t standing next to some seven-foot monster type, took the microphone and personally thanked everybody for coming, said he hoped they’d had a great time, and promised them a great Celtics season.
“Always remember,” he said, “we can’t do it without your support. And I mean you guys.”
“You’re my hero, Josh!” a girl yelled from somewhere in the stands.
He smiled and wagged a finger in her direction, like she’d somehow shouted out the wrong answer.
“No,” he said. “You guys are my heroes.”
He told them to enjoy their goody bags, told them to study real hard when they weren’t rooting their hardest for the Celtics, then left the practice gym.
That was Molly’s cue to beat it out of there, sneaking through a side door she’d scoped out as the other kids were making their way down to the court. She didn’t even bother to go to the lobby and pick up the bag with all the cute stuff inside.
Instead she went straight for where she’d seen Josh Cameron’s black Lincoln Navigator parked. Molly didn’t know anything about cars, not really. But she knew what Josh was driving because he’d won it for being MVP of the NBA Finals five months ago.
Molly knew about the black Lincoln Navigator the way she knew everything there was to know about him by now. Sometimes her buddy Sam would quiz her, out of the blue, no matter what they were doing.
“What kind of watch does he wear?”
“Too easy,” she’d say. “Omega. They use him now instead of the guy who used to play James Bond.”
“Red Zone from Old Spice. C’mon, these aren’t even challenging.”
“Okay, how about this? What’s the name of his new Labrador puppy, the one he just got last week?”
“He got a new puppy last week?”
Sam made a sound like a buzzer going off on one of the game shows he made Molly watch sometimes on the Game Show Network.
“Nah,” Sam said. “I made it up. But I had you going for a minute. You thought I knew something about him that you didn’t.”
“But you didn’t. Know something I didn’t, I mean.”
“But I did. Have you going. Which is enough to make my day, frankly.”
“You’re crazy,” Molly said.
“What does that say about you?” Sam said. “You could have picked anybody to be your friend and picked me.”
“Good point,” she said.
If Molly didn’t know everything important there was to know about Josh Cameron, she was sure she knew more than anybody else. Her mom had called it the joy of Google.
“I’m not big on technology,” her mom would say, and then Molly would slap her forehead and say, “You have got to be kidding, Mom! I never heard that one before, either.”
“But,” her mom would say, ignoring her, “I do feel that life got a lot better when Google became a verb.”
By now Molly Parker had Googled Josh Cameron so many times that she knew his first two Google pages, starting with his own Web site, by heart.
Basically, he was the most famous and best Boston Celtics basketball player since Larry Bird. And the best and flashiest point guard they’d had since Bob Cousy. But most people, Molly had found out in her research, seemed to think Josh Cameron was the basketball equivalent of Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback who won all the Super Bowls and looked like he should be playing Hilary Duff’s boyfriend in the movies, even if he was waaaaay too old for her.
Basically, Josh Cameron, six feet two, out of the University of Connecticut, winner of four NBA titles in his first nine years in the league, was the biggest and most popular star in sports right now. American sports, anyway. Molly didn’t even try to explain to Sam or any of the other kids she went to school with about the whole David Beckham thing.
He was thirty-one now, about the same age as her mom. It wasn’t Cryptkeeper old, but he was getting up there, even if you couldn’t tell it by the way he was playing. The Celtics had just won again, and he had won another MVP award.
“He’s one of those guys,” Jen Parker told her daughter. “He’ll get old about the same time Peter Pan does.”
Now, after the T rides she had taken to get to the buses and then the walk from the last bus station, which seemed like a lot more than the mile the bus driver had said, she was finally going to meet him.
She had decided it was time.

Excerpted from Miracle on 49th Street by Mike Lupica. Copyright © 2007 Mike Lupica. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for Miracle on 49th Street:
“[T]his novel is . . . an enjoyable read with interesting peeks into the world of professional basketball. It will appeal to young teen sports enthusiasts as well as kids just looking for a good story.” –VOYA
“Lupica delivers a winning novel, creating a realistic character in Molly. Young readers will also enjoy the look inside Josh's pampered sports-superstar world.” –Booklist
“Lupica is an extraordinarily smooth writer with a great ear for witty repartee.” –Publisher’s Weekly

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

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Miracle on 49th Street 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I couldn't put it down!!! It almost made me cry at some parts. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a book with so much detail. This book makes you think about how lucky you are. Molly goes throughbso much and she is so brave. READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
SaRah_RoSE More than 1 year ago
It's a great book.Molly is such a determined little girl. She brought the book to life. Definitly a book I would reread and recommed to a friend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing I just couldn't put it down. Terrific storyline and just a wonderful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
12 year old Molly Parker is in search of her dad after her mom dies from cancer and goes to live with her mom’s best friend that know’s who her dad is but won’t tell her because he hasn’t been in her life but she finds out that she has known him part of her life to find out he’s a basketball player for the Boston Celtics named Josh Cameron who her step sister has a crush on. When she reads the letters she finds out clues a year after her mom died she has a feeling she knows who her dad is and tells him in the parking lot after practice  but he doesn’t believe her even when she tells him that he has the leather jacket her mom gave him. I recommend this book to people who love sports but who also loves miracles, I think this book would be a very good book for a basketball mom or dad or any parent because it shows that you should be there for your child during hard and good times.  Josh Cameron finally took responsibility and owned up to saying that Molly Parker was his daughter and she started living with him and i guess when he saw her basketball skills and her attitude he thought they were more alike than he thought.
TXTylersMom More than 1 year ago
My 10 year old son........an avid reader proclaims this the "BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN PERIOD DOT".!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So you might hae a different opinion but i Really liked it was a book here you coul see that Molly wanted something and Josh cameron wanted the same thiing sort of but he is stuck in a situation making haveto decide but in the end he makes the better choice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book is pretty good.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We read it quickly and were engaged in the story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So hard to put the book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, this book is what you come to expect from Mike Lupica. A great book that keps you wanting to keep reading it over and over. A great book over all, I definatley want him to write a sequal to this book. I do like how one of his other books "Summer Ball" fits this book and travel team together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant wait to.read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most children live the normal life with two parents and their siblings (if they have any), but Molly Parker wasn’t one of those children. Miracle on 49th Street tells the story of a 12 year-old girl who is dealing with the troubles of losing her mother to cancer and the search for her father. Every child wants a happy life with “every piece of the puzzle” no matter what situation they’re in, but not everyone gets the life they want. Mike Lupica has written many great books such as Heat, Travel Team, Million-Dollar Throw, etc. Mike is a tremendous author and deserves all the credit he has received for the books. Miracle on 49th Street is just another one of those books that everyone will like when they read it. This book is perfect for teens and young adults (12 and up) who enjoys Christmas, family drama, sports, and “shocking” twists.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alright. At the library in our school, they had Miracle on 49th street. I read the first four chapters and was bored. When im reading a book and its boring, I read the last page. Molly is a ordanary girl, living with a friend of her moms. She and her best friend Sam are looking in old stuff and find pix of her mom and Josh Cameron. They look in notes her mom gave molly before she died and in a note Molly had read, she figured out a puzzle. - MIKE LUPICA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really amazing! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would read it again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love reading this book. I read this 20 times over again. Yea lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ttttttrrttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhgvghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhghggfdzcvh fvh gvvvvvvg g ggfcffffffffgfffggcccccccccccccccccccvv vv vbhhhhhggttttyhyhgvgggggffgggggfhhhggg