3 out of 4 stars
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The talented protagonist in this children’s story has a little problem: His mother, super coordinated and sporty, is more involved than anyone’s average soccer mom. In fact, she’s more involved than he is! Mom Makes the Team by Mary Don Beachy features a young, sport-loving boy who only wants to try out for the best baseball team in the state, the Bears. However, he fears his mom may be more eager than he could ever be.
I found myself really enjoying the unique plot of this short, 25-page book. It’s a pity that the story’s protagonist is unnamed, but he, nevertheless, turned out to be a very likeable character whom I continuously rooted for.
Mom Makes the Team puts a unique spin on unconditional emotional support and unwavering determination. While “Mom” is very wild and (admittedly) overbearing regarding her son’s sporting trials, so much that her son feels it may be “a nightmare” to have her around for his very special baseball tryouts, he never becomes frustrated and gives up on his goals nor on his mother. I think this is a special aspect of the story, creating an admirable young character. Also, I was extremely entertained by his mother who, hilariously—no matter what sport her son was taking part in—was always in it to win it.
I also liked the book’s style. The illustrations are colorful and well-drawn, each new chapter features a new sport which keeps the story entertaining and moving along quickly, and the chapter titles are fun and creatively pertain to each sport.
I found only one definite mistake, in which there was a need for a clause-separating comma, and a couple other instances where I found the sentences awkward. However, the main drawback of this story is that the division between past and present timelines is unclear. The protagonist recalls embarrassing sporting events from his past before his newest (present) baseball tryouts, and yet, the author uses present tense throughout the book with no time cues (such as “last fall,” etc.). This made the plot’s time and place sort of confusing.
For this, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It’s entertaining and unique, and I think it will please sporty young readers and their adult companions to read in their spare time.
Mom Makes the Team
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