March 01, 2017
Eighth-grader Richie Mallon has always known he was a shooter, but will his amazing shooting talent be enough to keep him on the team? Outside Shot tells the story of eighth-grade basketball player Richie Mallon, who is known as the shooter, the one on the team who scores most of the baskets. He has practiced every day at his driveway hoop, perfecting his technique. Richie never plays any other roles on the court; he lets his teammates do the assisting and rebounding. Richie makes the team under a tough new coach, but hes not a starter. Then when his shooting skills go into a slump, he must find a way to become a more well-rounded player. Author Fred Bowen continues his Sport Story Series with full court, play-by-play action thats sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats!
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
In addition to the absolutely fabulous Camila (who is even more attractive because her father is the school custodian, so the two can practice in the gym!), who plays lacrosse and even goes running with Richie, Bowen has also included some diverse characters. When the team is first assembled, the coach tells the boys that it's important that they treat each other like family, and Richie learns that some of the boys have very difficult backgrounds. This was a nice touch, and Richie's ability to understand how easy his own life is was good to read.
As in all of these books, Bowen has a chapter at the end where famous "shooters" and their careers are discussed. He even works in, as the owner of a Christmas tree farm, an older woman who played half court basketball and was a shooter herself. Seeing how basketball affects other people in Richie's world adds an interesting layer of community.
If you've read all the Matt Christopher books definitely pick up books by Bowen! At 144 pages, these books offer updated sports stories for the new millenium filled with great characters, plenty of on the court action, and historical context as an added bonus.
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