Phil Bildner's A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME debuts tomorrow, but already it has some great momentum, including these great reviews:
"Pure fun with a lot of heart."—SLJ
"This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains."—Booklist
"A school story with heart."—Kirkus
And in a recent online roundup of recommended classroom readalouds at SLJ, Allison Tran of Mission Viejo Library in California suggested A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME, saying it's "a feel-good story about friendship, basketball, and the surprising things that happen when an inventive teacher shakes up the fifth-grade curriculum" and that "readers will instantly warm to the likable and refreshingly diverse cast of characters," and that the "message of teamwork makes for an encouraging start to the new school year."
The second book in the Rip and Red series, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, is scheduled to release spring of next year, and now we've got the third and fourth books lined up, finishing out Rip and Red's fifth grade year and continuing the themes of school, friendship, and basketball. Book 3 will be called TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS and book 4 will be MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS. Wes Adams at FSG has just signed them up, with the wonderful Tim Probert illustrating again.
Now all we have to do is wait, right? Here's something fun to tide you over: The book trailer for A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME, created by 4th graders from Hamilton Elementary School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Texas.