Top of the Order
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Top of the Order (4 for 4 #1)

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Jackson’s parents are divorced and his mother has started dating. Gig’s dad is in the National Guard and has been called up to serve in the Middle East. Isaac's dad wants him to go to a different middle school than all his friends. Diego is the new kid in school, a power-hitter who works with his family on the weekends and can't make every team practice. These four friends...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Feiwel & Friends
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(showing 1-30 of 175)
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This is essentially a story of kids who like to play baseball, with lots of side-topics as well. Jackson is a 5th grader and plays baseball on the Panthers team with several of his friends at school. They are short one player this year and try to convince many classmates to join the team to no avail. Jackson's best friend is Gig and at the first practice, Gig's sister, Sydney, shows up with her pink glove. Gig is furious that his sister is butting into his sport. Sydney proves herself and even t...more
Gr 3-6-Jackson approaches the end of fifth grade with mixed feelings: he's ready for middle school, but word is that eighth graders make life miserable for the incoming class. It's May, though, and now he's looking forward to baseball. The team has some great players, but is down a second baseman, and if one can't be found, the season is going to have to be forfeited. When Gig's sister shows up at practice, Gig is furious. But Sydney quickly shows her stuff, leaving Jackson in a quandary. Does h...more
Male protagonists seem to be in short supply in this year's Lovelace nominee so Top of the Order is a nice addition for young male readers.

Jackson Kennedy is in 5th Grade. He loves baseball and is both dreading and anticipating the fast-approaching end of elementary and beginning of middle school. His best friends Gig and Isaac, along with new student Diego form a tight group.

The story is basically about friendship, loving baseball and how those two things help Jackson navigate his way through h...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Jackson is looking forward to the upcoming baseball season. He'll be playing with all his friends, and he'll be playing his favorite position - shortstop. It should be a terrific season!

As practice begins it looks like everything is shaping up just as Jackson expected. However, things are about to change. First, the team is short a second baseman. Who can they get to fill the spot? Coach tries Trenton at second base and it's a disas...more
Brandon O'Neill
I picked this one because I like baseball, but I later realized it was the first in the 4 X 4 series. I'd recommend it to young sports fans - each book tackles a different sport with the same characters, so they can start off with their favorite and go to the others if they like the main characters.
Jack T.
This is a awesome book!!! It has lots of action and stuff in it. Jackson is a 5th grader and his best friends name is Gig. He has a sister names Sydney. When Sydney wants to play baseball for the school, Gig is not happy. Read the book to find out the rest. I liked it because it is about baseball, my favorite sport. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes baseball.
Allyson Mccoshen
I liked the book top of the order. There is this one charactor. Sydney is her name and she is very confident with herself that she could play on the boys baseball team and thats why i really like her. The plot was very good in the story. A big confict was that the boys wouldn't let Sydney on the team and then she just found a way dto join and she didn't care what they said. But nothing stoped her she found her way like i knew she would. Now she plays 2nd base and she does really well. I thought...more
Sara Drazkowski
A great sports story, especially for 5th/6th graders, as it deals with the transistion from elementary to middle school. The author, Coy, is from Minneapolis, and actually got some of the inspiration from this book from visiting with 5th graders at my old elementary school, so the connection made the book more interesting to read. This is Coy's first YA novel, and I could tell, as there were a lot of loose ends not tied up, and the story seemed to have too many issues to tackle them all. However...more
Mussie Getachew
This book is about 4 kids trying to start a baseball team. But they are having a bad time to start a baseball team. Jacksons mom is dating. Gigs dad is going to serve in the Middle East. Isac might be going to a new school. Diego spends his spare time working. These four friends lead different lives, but on the baseball field they are a strong team-top of the order. There are lots of themes but mostly, it would be hope, friendship, and courage.

I think this book is one of the best book I have r...more
3.5 stars
A baseball book with some interesting side stories. Jackson's baseball team has the potential to be very good, but they need another player. When Jackson's best friend's sister shows up to play 2nd base, the 5th grade team must make some adjustments.

The four characters that form the "top of the order" are all uneasy about making the move to middle school next year. And each is dealing with some issues outside of their school and baseball worlds.

Could be very popular with middle grade bo...more
it's decent... feels like character could have been older... also it's a bit predictable thus far... plus it's the Incredible not Amazing Hulk, but that's a minor critique... my issue is the characters thus far seem a bit flat, particularly our main one...

I like the future letter website, and the writing teaching but they don't feel organic to the story... for a short book it feels a little all over...

ending anticlimactic... much preferred Crackback by Coy
I thought this book looked promising but the execution was poor. The author creates several subplots that really have nothing to do with the main story and then doesn't resolve them. Don't introduce mysterious supernatural characters if you're just going to leave it hanging out there! There is a great description of Jackson having a bout with diarrhea in the middle school restroom, though. That's a first in reading for me!

My 3rd Grade boys book club read this book and gave it almost a 4.5 average rating. They said they would definitely recommend it to their friends.

One nice bonus for me was the great writing advice John provides through a teaching character in the book. Thank you, John!
Charles Ellenbogen
I really enjoyed this. I read a lot of books like this growing up. A boy struggling with transitions - separated parents, the move from elementary school to middle school - and friends turns to sports to make sense of the world. Coy clearly knows schools and baseball. I wanted more to be done with the Hayes character - the only black teacher they ever had. That gets mentioned and then dropped.
Ms. B
Young sports fans (or those looking for a good school story) will enjoy this story of four 5th grade friends; Jackson, Gig, Isaac and Diego who play baseball for their school team. For these friends who each have their own problems at home and are wondering what to expect at middle school; life is much more complicated than simply winning or losing a baseball game.
I'm not much into sports, but this book gave me a new appreciation for baseball. Kids will love this book and it's a good one for reluctant readers - especially boys. It's a Maud Hart Lovelace nominee this year and it will probably win or at least take 2nd place. It's a series and I plan on purchasing it for both my libraries. Would be a fun read aloud as well. :)
This is a 3.5 from me.

A solid entry into the sports book category for upper elementary school and middle school boys. Four boys bond over baseball and the last year of elementary school.

The series will continue with 4 books total - each a different sport and following the boys into middle school.

Recommended for grades 4-7.
MSBA Nominee 2009-2010

I am not the target audience for this book. I knew it the second a character stuck food up his nose and ate it. Additionally, the action never seemed to go anywhere. Conflicts were set up and nothing happened. I wouldn't have nominated it for this list.
Jackson and his friends are not happy when a girl joins their baseball team. But she's pretty good and they need an eighth player or their team will have to forfeit. I will recommend this one for boys (and girls) who like sports and/or contemporary fiction.
Molly Panzer
I read this because it was one of the children's Book Club titles at the library. Nice to see what's out there for middle school boys. Girls would enjoy, as well. I'm going to recommend to the mom of a fourth grade boy.
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Great book for boys who love baseball. Would make a good fourth and fifth grade read aloud. Page 69 clicking around the Internet for pictures of naked girls?
Ⓛeah ✿εїз✾
I feel really silly having had read this. I really don't like it either. Unless you like 5th grade boys playing baseball don't read it.
Laura Gardner
I think if I were an elementary boy really into baseball, I would love this book. Lots of baseball action sequences.
Great job of capturing dialogue, thoughts and actions of fifth grade boys going into middle school.
Formulaic and littered with product placements.
Maine Student Book Award Nominee 2010
Shayna Turner
Shayna Turner marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2014
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John Coy is an award-winning author, who worked as a dishwasher, mattress maker, group home worker, and tour guide before taking up writing. He's active in sports and is a member of the NBA Reading All-Star Team as part of the Read to Achieve program. John has traveled to all fifty states as well as to many countries internationally.

His work includes Night Driving, a Marion Vannett Ridgway Memori...more
More about John Coy...
Crackback Box Out Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball Two Old Potatoes and Me Night Driving

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