cover image Making the Team #1

Making the Team #1

Dean Hughes / Author Random House Books for Young Readers $2.9

Hughes's Angel Park All-Stars series heats up just as the baseball season does. In the first book, best friends Kenny, Harlan and Jacob make the Dodger team, but some of the older players give the three third-graders a hard time. Talented Kenny struggles to prove himself to his teammates, particularly to the team bully, ``Burner'' Bunson. The second story focuses on Harlan, who is ready to give up baseball before even giving it a shot. Through persistence and patience, he begins to believe in himself. At the same time, the Angel Park Dodgers are becoming a unified team, and their 5-0 record may lead them to a championship later in the series. Each book adds depth to the characters while exploring a universal situation. Hughes depicts the games with fervor and clarity, blending the right amounts of baseball, friendship and fun into an energetic, thoroughly enjoyable series. Lyall's vivid black-and-white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter capture the game's most exciting moments. Ages 7-11. (Apr.)