Rip and Red are back with basketball on their minds. They’re ready for another round of fall basketball. But things have changed since their last season.
First, there’s a new girl in Mr. Acevedo’s class. Tiki’s family has moved a LOT. She’s quirky and has a BIG personality. And she’s amazing on the basketball court. She stirs up a lot of competitive and jealous feelings in Rip.
Second, the kids are OVER the awful changes in the school cafeteria. They miss the Lunch Bunch, an awesome group of lunch ladies who truly loved the kids and made a difference throughout the school. And they miss having something edible to buy for lunch!
Third, Red is becoming more comfortable with his classmates. He copes better with physical contact, and even starts joking with the other kids.
All of these changes come together to make a great school story starring Rip and Red.
I thoroughly enjoy the kids at the center of this series. Red is endearing. I think the author does a great job of portraying him in a kind and accurate way. And I love how cued in Rip is to Red’s habits and facial expressions. It feels realistic that sometimes he responds to those cues and sometimes he doesn’t. He’s still a kid.
The adults in the book – specifically Mr. Acevedo and Rip’s mom – work hard to teach when they correct kids. They don’t talk down to the kids; their expectations are reasonably high.
This would make a great family or classroom read aloud. Rip struggles with his place on the basketball team in this, and I think there are lots of things kids can learn as they read about Rip. There’s also lots to discuss about Red’s place in the group, and making accommodations to include everyone at school. There’s also lots to discuss about how to pursue change when you have a complaint. And the author uses tons of great examples of “show, don’t tell” for kids learning to write.
Book 3, Tournament of Champions, came out earlier this summer.