Title: TJ and the Sports Fanatic
Author: Hazel Hutchins
Published by Orca Book Publishers, 2006.
Reviewed for ReaderViewkids.com, 6/07.
Do you have a friend that is always trying to get you to do things that maybe you wouldn't want to even try to do? Well, TJ Barnes has this problem. TJ has no athletic abilities but his best friend Seymour does. However, Seymour won't try out for a team unless TJ does with him.
What are the right reasons for trying out for a football team? Is it that small chance that you might be good at it and can make lots of money. Or is it to be among the popular kids in school? Football teaches responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills. Whatever the reasons, TJ doesn't want to do it. But being a good friend to Seymour, he tries.
TJ is more concerned with something greater than football. He helps out at his family's hardware store which has fallen on hard times. Perhaps the store will have to go in a different direction than what has always worked before. TJ doesn't understand all the X and O marks when the coach tries to explain the different plays. He doesn't understand all the penalties. But at least he's not like Seymour, who scores the first points of his football career against his own team.
Teamwork takes on new meaning in this book. "TJ and the Sports Fanatic" is an excellent book for football lovers and other sports fans. It keeps your interest in both TJ's first attempt at playing football and being a valuable member of another team...his family. This is a good book for ages 8-12. With football season right around the corner, get prepared for the season by reading this one!