King of the Bench: Control Freak
September 12, 2017
Steve is King of the Bench. No brag. That’s just a fact. And this season, Steve and his friends are ready to sit on the sidelines of the Spiro T. Agnew Middle school football field. But then they stumble upon an old-school video game controller, and they become convinced it can control sports plays. With it, Steve might become King of Football too!
Oh, and if you’re wondering why Steve would write a book and tell complete strangers about a mysterious magic device that pretty much controlled his first season on the football team, too bad! It’s a strict rule when writing a book that you have to build suspense first.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Steve is realistically goofy, and the story progresses in a logical fashion with lots of non sequitur asides that are meant just to be funny. The coach and Steve's team mates are goofy, as are the teams they play against. The controller is handled in a way that makes sense-- it doesn't really control people, does it? Or... can it? Steve know better, yet had his reasons for believing. Goofy, yes, but in a way that I think middle grade readers can appreciate. Give this to fans of Pastis' Timmy Failure, Barnes' The Terrible Two, Fry's The Odd Squad or Meyerhoff's The Barftastic Life of Louie Berger.
Younger readers will also enjoy the goofy side of this book. The names include Coach Earwax and The Enron Middle School Screaming Bulls, and the very idea of the video game controller having any effect on Steve's team is a bit far fetched.
We need a lot more books like this-- notebook novels about sports that actually have a plot, no matter how slight. Every elementary library and most middle school libraries need this title.
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