A Whole New Ballgame (Rip and Red, #1)

A Whole New BallgameWritten by Phil Bildner, Illustrated by Tim Probert

This book is about accepting change and accepting each other – two very important skills. Mason Irving, aka Rip, and Blake Daniels, aka Red, are best friends starting the 5th grade. Their confidence slips on the first day when they have a new teacher who doesn’t fit the mold. On top of that, 5th grade basketball tryouts are not what they expect either. Red especially struggles with change because of his autism. Rip is affected because he worries about Red. Their teacher, Mr. Acevedo, resists the rigid, test-oriented structured classroom that have become education’s norm these past few years. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who could empathize with him. Teaching isn’t as fun as it used to be…for both teachers and students.) Despite being against the dreaded “T” word, this book is full of tests. Rip’s talent to help others is put to the test when he must work with ornery Avery. Red’s social progress is tested when his normal routine is changed. And Mr. Acevedo’s enthusiasm is tested when he is forced to follow some of the education mandates. Everyone learns important lessons as the story unfolds, including the reader, which is the true goal all along. The only down point is that the book feels more junior high than elementary school, but that is common in books today. Overall, a great, quick read for middle readers.

Review by Teresa Edmunds, Westbrook Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

Author Website: http://philbildner.com/

Rip and Red, Book 1
A Whole New Ballgame
Written by Phil Bildner, Illustrated by Tim Probert
Farrar Straus Giroux
243 pages
Release Date: August 8, 2015

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2 thoughts on “A Whole New Ballgame (Rip and Red, #1)”

  1. I read this book not too long ago and I really liked it. I thought it had something for everybody and would be a great addition to any library.

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