Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Buy from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 32
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
        Previous Book
        Next Book

Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction

Picture Books

2004 Stand-outs
2003 Stand-outs
2002 Stand-outs
2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers
About Me
Contact Me 
Make a Donation
Post on Bulletin Board
View Bulletin Board

I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations



by Joan Bauer

Reviewed July 8, 2002.
Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1996.

I’m a big fan of Joan Bauer, but this book was a little too much like her first novel, Squashed, without being quite as funny.  (I think this was her second book.)

Mickey Vernon wants nothing in the world more than to win the ten- to thirteen-year-olds’ nine-ball championship.  His father died before he had a chance to win a championship at nine-ball.  When an old friend of Mickey’s father comes into town and offers to coach him, Mickey leaps at the chance.  Never mind that his mother is not so happy about the idea.  Obstacles fall into Mickey’s path, but he perseveres in his goal.

Joan Bauer has definitely progressed in her writing since she wrote this one.  I recommend reading Hope Was Here, and Rules of the Road first.  Then you’ll be happy to have another taste of her work, even if it’s not as outstanding.  Still an enjoyable story.

When I met Joan Bauer at a Writer’s Conference in Paris last year, she thought I would like this one, since Mickey uses Math to help him win at pool.  There’s one catch--I’m good at Math, but was always lousy at pool--I’m not convinced that it really helps all that much.  You may know how you should hit the ball, but you have to be able to actually do it!

Reviews of other books by Joan Bauer:

Best Foot Forward
Stand Tall

Amazon links to other Joan Bauer books:

Hope Was Here
Rules of the Road

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-