"E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
The Indians are in the final four of the Kalamazoo baseball championship, and Derek hopes that his team can work together to win. He's also hoping that for his birthday he can invite his friend Dave for a week at his grandparents' house. He and Dave are also supposed to have a sleepover, but Dave keeps backing out and doesn't want to talk about it. Sharlee is taking a karate class, and one of Derek's teammates, Gary, is taking it as well but doing very poorly. Vijay is a little irritated with Derek's insistence on being friends with Dave when he seems to want to avoid Derek. All of this puts stress on the team, and even brings down Derek's grades a bit. Eventually, Dave's parents' problems with Derek's family are worked out, and the team is able to come together. Will they win the championship?
Strengths: This is a good length for a middle grade sports book, had a lot of baseball, and incorporated important life lessons. The best part is always Derek's supportive family.
Weaknesses: I wish that Derek were a little older, and the big discussion of diversity in the middle of the book really slowed things down and seemed overly preachy.
What I really think: Baseball books aren't as popular as other sports books in my library, but these are a solid circulator and I will no doubt buy the entire nine book series. " Ms. Yingling said.