Review: Tournament of Champions

Rip and Red are at it again, basketball is the name of the game and these two boys, one autistic and the other from a single parent home, are full into the spirit of the game.   Oh the joy of it!   They are going to part of a basketball Tournament of Champions.   My son and I were eager to read this newest book in the Rip and Red series since we enjoyed A Whole New Ballgame so much.

Challenge one: Can Rip get Red to be part of the tournament?
Challenge two: How will Rip handle the person from the past?
Challenge three: Can they win the tournament?

Team Motto: We will rise to the occasion which is life. 

The tournament they are to be part of is called the Jack Twyman Spring Showdown.   I thought I would see if Twyman was an actual player and learned that he was.  According to Wikipedia, he took guardianship of a fellow basketball player who became paralyzed and cared for him until his death. 

16 teams are invited, Clifton United is one of them and they have only two weeks to prepare. The tournament will be played single elimination style.   The boys are totally stocked with bams, booyahs and high fives all around.

The chapters are short and laced with a lot of communication.   I actually found all the communication with little scenery, or setting made for a less interesting read.  It seemed to me that every other work was "bam" or "balling" or "booyah".  I used it as a read aloud with my 11 year old and he commented on it as well saying "it's not as good as the first book mom".
That said though, it was interesting enough to keep us reading it, we wanted to know if Red would actually play in the game, or if Clifton United would do well, and later on, to see how Rip would do with a situation that popped up in his life.

The chapters are short, short enough that we frequently had time to read two or three chapters  instead of just one. Those short chapters are what help to carry the book along.

Illustrator Tim Probert adds to the story with his great illustrations.
My Recommendation:
 If you have a sports minded child living in your house, this is a book well worth getting.
Short chapters.  Oodles of dialogue, real players discussed, and two active boys in the midst of a big tournament.  It makes for interesting reading.  The side stories add intrigue and what ifs which make the book all the better.

Title: Tournament of Champions
Author: Phil Bildner
Illustrator: Tim Probert
Pages: 235
Age: 8-12 years
Series: Rip and Red
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux 

Reviewed for: Raincoast Books

Where can you find it? - Tournament of Champions - Tournament of Champions (Rip and Red)

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