cover image The Toilet Paper Tigers

The Toilet Paper Tigers

Gordon Korman. Scholastic, $13.95 (195pp) ISBN 978-0-590-46230-3

When a motley crew of Little League baseball players acquires a coach ``who had a great mind for science but was a total goose-egg when it came to baseball,'' it looks like the start of another deadbeat season. Things start to look up for the boys when their coach's fast-talking granddaughter Kristy breezes into town and proceeds to pummel the team into shape. Though narrated by the group's thwarted pitcher Corey, each chapter revolves around a single player and outlines Kristy's wacky plan to improve his playing. Whether it is a seaweed diet or a wild publicity scheme to end an older brother's bully tactics, Kristy finds a way to conquer each player's weakness and turns the former losers into champs. With their abundant quirks, the cartoonish characters are an engaging lot. Plenty of sports action, along with Korman's ( Son of Interflux ) trademark snappy dialogue, makes this peppy story an ideal choice for reluctant readers. Baseball fans will be sure to root for this lighthearted romp. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)