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“Miracle on 49th Street” by Mike Lupica

21 Oct

TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:

Mike Lupica is a sports columnist, television personality, and author of such teen sports novels as the excellent "Travel Team" and "Heat." In his latest book for young adults, "Miracle on 49th Street," Lupica tells the story of 12 year-old Molly Parker. Molly grew up in London as the beloved daughter of single parent Jen, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. As the book begins, Molly has been sent to Boston to live with Jen's college friend, Barbara, her banker husband, and their daughter, Kimmy.

Molly has a secret that she hasn't shared with anyone but her best friend, smart, awkward, funny Sam Bloom, and the secret is a whopper: nationally famous Boston Celtics point guard Josh Cameron is Molly's father. Of course, Josh has no idea he has a daughter, and, after Molly ambushes him — twice! — in the team's parking lot, he's not so sure he even wants a daughter. Molly and Josh begin a kind of uneasy friendship, where she attends some of his games and practices and has dinners with Josh and his grandmotherly housekeeper Mattie. All along, Molly senses that Josh is just stringing her along until he can figure out a safe method of sending her on her way; Josh never hugs Molly, continues to question whether she's really his daughter, and keeps her hidden from the media. The bulk of the story involves Molly trying to get Josh to pass a fatherhood "test," that is, get him to overcome his pride and selfishness and reach a point where he can love and accept Molly for who she is.

There's some sports action in the book, as both Molly's 7th grade team and Josh's professional team take the court, but not as much as in Lupica's previous novels. Molly is a believable character, brave and hurt and hopeful all at the same time, so readers will definitely cheer her on. The problem with this book lies in the other characters, who never seem to come fully to life, and in the fact that Lupica chooses to flash forward from Molly's initial encounters with the very reluctant Josh to her already having forged friendships with both him and the other Celtics. Lupica does this on several occasions, jumps from a big emotional scene to a calmer time weeks down the road, never letting the reader see all the little steps — the growth, the character development — in between. As such, much of the impact of the story and its final, sentimental resolution is undercut.

This isn't a bad book, not by any means, but it could've been so much more compelling. Fans of Lupica's other books will find lots to like here, but they may walk away a bit disappointed.

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17 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

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17 responses to ““Miracle on 49th Street” by Mike Lupica

  1. Anonymous

    March 12, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    very good book review

    i loved this book review because it has alot of information and it shows that you liked the book.i have read the book and you are right on the target.

     
    • mel1317

      March 13, 2007 at 1:41 pm

      Re: very good book review

      Thank you. I’m so glad you found the review helpful. If you like Mike Lupica, he has a new book called “Summer Ball” coming out on May 15th. Here’s the Amazon link if you’d like to learn more about it — Summer Ball. Thanks again!

       
    • Anonymous

      March 25, 2009 at 7:07 pm

      Re: very good book review

      This is the best book in the world it is sad ineresting adenturous and exiting

       
      • mel1317

        March 26, 2009 at 9:51 pm

        Re: very good book review

        Wow, sounds like you really enjoyed it! I’m glad to hear your favorable comments. Thanks for posting!

         
  2. Anonymous

    August 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    i loved this book! the notes really helped me on my project!

     
    • mel1317

      August 29, 2008 at 5:43 pm

      Well, I’m really glad you enjoyed the novel and, as long as there’s no plagiarizing involved — which I’m sure you wouldn’t do! — I’m all for folks getting school-related info from the internet. Anything that helps you guys succeed and, hopefully, get more meaning out of the books you’ve read is good. Thanks for posting, and good luck at school!

       
  3. Anonymous

    December 5, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh

    I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Molly and Josh vary and grow. It really truly touched me. I really enjoyed this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

     
    • mel1317

      December 15, 2008 at 8:41 pm

      Re: I enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked it! Plus, this is the perfect time of year (Christmas) for this particular basketball book. Be sure to check out some of author Mike Lupica’s other sports-themed novels. I’ll bet you find another one you like. Thanks for writing!

       
    • Anonymous

      May 12, 2009 at 10:51 pm

      Re: I enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh

      I also enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh I thought this book was amazing it was so interesting I enjoyed reading every minute of it My ranking for this book would be 10 out of 10

      sincerly Ana Margret

       
    • Anonymous

      May 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

      Re: I enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh

      I also enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh I thought this book was amazing it was so interesting I enjoyed reading every minute of it My ranking for this book would be 10 out of 10

      sincerely; Ana Margret

       
      • mel1317

        May 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm

        Re: I enjoyed the relationship between Molly and Josh

        I’m so glad you liked the book and the relationship between Molly and Josh. Thanks for sharing both the review and your ranking!

         
  4. Anonymous

    February 22, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    GREAT REVIEW

    i thought ur review was great. i agree the book could have been more compelling, but even w/out the parts we wished for, it was heartwarming and touching!

     
    • mel1317

      March 26, 2009 at 9:52 pm

      Re: GREAT REVIEW

      I’m glad you enjoyed this book for what it was and were willing to overlook the weaker aspects that bothered me a bit. Great job! Thanks for sharing your review with us.

       
  5. Anonymous

    May 20, 2009 at 3:08 am

    what???

    how is this a dissapointing book i think this is the best book!!! i loved it

     
    • mel1317

      May 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm

      Re: what???

      Heh … what can I say? I guess we all have different opinions sometimes. But thanks for sharing yours with us!

       
  6. Anonymous

    February 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Miracle on 49th Street

    Wow. I read this book beforehand and decided to see what somebody else thought the book was about compared to what I thought it was about before I completed my project. The book is compelling to me but as you said, a little bit disapointing. I did wish that the author went through the entire process of the change from sadness to friendship. A good book always goes through this process in order for it to be enjoyable. This book does make an exception. It has such as good story behind it, it doesn’t matter. In conclusion, this book was one I will definitely remember. Thank you. By the way, I got an A+ on the project.

     
    • mel1317

      March 22, 2010 at 12:36 am

      Re: Miracle on 49th Street

      I have no doubt that you received an A+ … your book review here is incredibly perceptive and well written! Author Mike Lupica *always* has a good story — particularly if you enjoy sports! — so be sure to check out some of his other novels as well. Thanks for the awesome comment. Best of luck in school!

       

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