Toby Wheeler: Eighth Grade Benchwarmerby Thatcher Heldring
TOBY WHEELER LOVES basketball and playing pickup games at the local rec center. No coaches, no practices, just nonstop action with his best friend, JJ, at his side. But lately JJ's been acting like he's too busy for Toby, and Toby knows it will only get worse once basketball season begins at their junior high. That's because JJ is the star of their school team, while Toby is just an ordinary gym rat.
When Coach Applewhite offers Toby a chance to join the team, Toby's eager to prove he can keep up with JJ. But then the coach announces the lineup, and Toby's hopes of playing ball with JJ are history: he's an eighthgrade benchwarmer! Befriending the coach's daughter only makes matters worse. Now the only way Toby will get in the game is if he starts thinking like a team player, on and off the court.
From the Hardcover edition.
Toby Wheeler is a self-professed gym rat-he plays basketball down at the rec center but has never played for his school. However, when he meets the new coach, Toby decides to try for the team. He becomes the 12th man-the last one ever sent in to a game-and resigns himself to being a benchwarmer. However, through Coach Applewhite's tutoring and the help of the other boys, Toby learns to be a real team player. A subplot concerns Toby's dad, who works for the local lumber company, and his mother, an ecological activist protesting the lumber company's practices. Overall, the story is engaging, but too predictable and lacking in depth. Standard sports themes dominate-the underdog team wins the championship in the final shot; the team's star realizes he has to play for himself, not to appease his father; and the new coach learns to trust his players. This novel will appeal to readers who are looking for something one step beyond Matt Christopher's books.
Diana PierceCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Engaging...will appeal to readers who are looking for something one step beyond Matt Christopher's books."—SLJ
"This engaging sports story gains depth from subplots involving Toby's tricky relationships with his former best friend and with the coach's daughter."–The Horn Book
"Looking for something to do during halftime of the March Madness basketball games? Read this book.”-The Washington Post
"With so much written about the friction between girl friends, it's good to have a book that acknowledges that left-out feeling happens to boys, too."–Booklist
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Random House
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 179 KB
- Age Range:
- 9 - 12 Years
Meet the Author
Thatcher Heldring has had several jobs in book publishing. He has also worked as a small forward, a goalie, a scorekeeper, a coach, a rabid fan, and a benchwarmer. He and his wife, Staci, live in Seattle, a good place for indoor sports.
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews