“Summer Ball” by Mike Lupica

29 May


"Travel Team's" star point guard, the great — but short — basketball player Danny Walker, is back in author Mike Lupica's latest sports novel, "Summer Ball." This time around, it's the summer after eighth grade, and Danny and his best friends Will and Ty are about to head off from Middletown, Long Island to a high-rated, highly competitive basketball camp in rural Maine.

When Danny arrives at Josh Cameron's Right Way Camp, it seems that everything is stacked against him. His opponent from the travel team's national championship game, Rasheed Hill, is a star at the camp, and he's still angry with what he thinks of as Danny's "flop" to get a crucial foul called. Instead of getting assigned to a cabin with his friends, Danny, who's already sensitive about his small size, is placed with younger kids. Right away, Danny makes an enemy of his coach, Ed Powers, who won't even give Danny a chance to prove himself on the court among his bigger, stronger teammates. And worst of all? The Kobe Bryant-like Lamar Parrish, a flashy, cocky player, taunts Danny at every opportunity … and he has the skills to back it up.

But there are some good things for Danny along the way, too, including new friend Tarik, young camper Zach Fox, and, perhaps best of all, his friend / girlfriend Tess Hewitt, who is spending part of the summer just across Coffee Lake from the camp.

The book builds toward the inevitable championship game, in which Danny and his teammates are matched up against Lamar's squad. Once again, Danny will have to prove himself when it matters most, with the entire camp, his friends, Tess, and his parents all watching. Although the ending is a bit predictable, I really enjoyed this book and basically read it in one sitting. Danny Walker is a good but real kid. His temper and stubbornness are nicely contrasted by his big heart and courage. I can't believe there's a reader around who wouldn't be rooting for him. Plus, the relationships between Danny and his friends ring true throughout the novel, and there's plenty of exciting basketball action to keep the story moving along at a brisk pace.

This book is a natural for fans of "Travel Team," but it would also be great for newcomers, too. Middle school boys and girls alike, particularly those who enjoy sports and basketball, should love this book.


Posted by on May 29, 2007 in Uncategorized


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19 responses to ““Summer Ball” by Mike Lupica

  1. mel1317

    June 25, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Re: Great book

    Thanks so much for your comment! I haven’t read “Two Hot Dogs with Everything” yet, but I know we own it here at the Library. I’ll put it on my list. 😀

    Another teen baseball book I enjoyed is “Out Standing in My Field”. This book takes place over the course of one baseball game, and it involves a character (Ty Cutter) whose coach/dad pushes him way too hard to excel at sports. Definitely worth checking out, particularly if you like baseball books.

  2. Anonymous

    March 31, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Awesome Book!!!

    I encourage you to read this book. It’s magnificently written and the characters are lovable. It’s right up there with my favorite books.

    • mel1317

      April 1, 2008 at 8:40 pm

      Re: Awesome Book!!!

      Excellent! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much, and I, too, think it’s a great choice for sports fans. Thanks for your comment!

  3. mel1317

    April 1, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Re: Great book

    True, as it says in my review, “Summer Ball” is a basketball book. But baseball books rock, so I’m always glad to give some suggestions on those as well. Either way, thanks for reading! And if you like Mike Lupica, his “A Big Field” came out last month. Oh, but that one’s a baseball book, too! 😛

  4. mel1317

    May 23, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Re: Summer Ball, Mike Lupica

    Oh, that’s fantastic! It’s so great that you were able to use a book you love for a book report. I love how the message of this book is nicely balanced by all the basketball action.

    Ok, so it’s a baseball book, but if you’re a fan of author Mike Lupica, you might want to try his latest, “The Big Field.” You can find out more info by clicking here. Thanks for sharing your comment!

  5. mel1317

    June 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for letting us know! We have tons more sports-related books in the Teen section, including others by author Mike Lupica. Many of these are listed in our sports read-alike brochure. Happy reading!

  6. Anonymous

    December 21, 2008 at 11:20 pm


    • mel1317

      January 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      I agree! I’m really looking forward to his next sports-related novel. In the meantime, you might want to check out author Tim Green. He’s a former NFL player turned author, so his books are full of sports action. His latest book, “Baseball Great” comes out in March. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Anonymous

    January 14, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    this was a great book, me being a baller and im also short and usually always have to prove myself as well i could compare myself to danny

    • mel1317

      January 21, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      Oh, then this was the perfect book for you! I’m sure you related to everything Danny went through in the story. Thanks for the comment, and good luck in your basketball career!

  8. mel1317

    January 21, 2009 at 6:51 pm


    Awesome — you loved the book and you got an A+ on the report?! Well done!

  9. Anonymous

    May 27, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Summer Ball

    This was one of the best books that I have ever read and think you should read it too.

    • mel1317

      June 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      Re: Summer Ball

      Awesome … thanks for the comment!

  10. Anonymous

    October 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    it’s one of the best books everrrrrrr!!!(:..i am on page 109 and i still got morree pages,more fun,more adventure!!!(:

  11. Anonymous

    October 20, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Summer ball

    I absolutely loved this book and anybody out their who needs a book to read you should definitely chose this book if you ask me!

  12. Anonymous

    October 16, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Re: Summer ball

    this is a good book i havent read yet but i hope i can read it for the test and do u take a test at home frome wood the school they need to make something like that sooo some body plz plz plz help me

  13. Anonymous

    October 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Re: Flake Book

    Quite to the contrary young man. This fine piece of literature is a work of art. Any other opinion than that is utterly preposterous.

  14. Anonymous

    June 4, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Can you tell me very specific details about what happends in the book ? Or Amy very important parts of the book?

    • mel1317

      September 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Hey, just saw your post all these months later. I hope you figured it out. By, you know, maybe reading the book. :-p Thanks for writing!


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