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Top of the Order (4 for 4 #1)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  35 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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Ryan Baskin
Apr 19, 2015 Ryan Baskin rated it really liked it
This author, John Coy, does of very good job of writing sports books. But in this book, Top of the Order, he really out did himself. The writing style is very easy to get into, and the only complaint I have, is that he stays on one topic a little to long. But what is really good is that his ideas are neatly placed and you don't have to guess about what is happening. Another thing is that the characters are easy to relate to, if you like sports. So all in all, I would recommend this book to the ...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
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
May 11, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
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
Nov 29, 2012 Mussie Getachew rated it it was amazing
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
Allyson Mccoshen
Nov 28, 2012 Allyson Mccoshen rated it it was amazing
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
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
Will J
Nov 23, 2015 Will J rated it liked it
"Top of the Order" is a book a bout a boy named Jackson and his friends on a baseball team. Their team last year did not do so good but this year its going to change. One of the players sister joins the team and at first everyone doesn't like her. But throughout the book the team learns to accept her as a teammate. Reading this book made me wonder why people think girls cant play on the same team as guys. I think anyone should be allowed play on any team they want. I would recommend this book to ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Seth rated it did not like it
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!

Josh Newhouse
Mar 04, 2012 Josh Newhouse rated it liked it
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
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.
Ms. B
Jul 05, 2012 Ms. B rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, mhl, 2012
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.
Mar 09, 2016 Rebekah rated it liked it
As a fellow baseball player, I found the story not bad-- I did have some issues with the way it ended, though. It seemed to negate the purpose of the story, from my point of view.
I also think the writer makes it seem slightly too easy for all of the problems to be resolved at the end.. Especially in school. But it was a fun read.
Jason Johnson
Mar 13, 2015 Jason Johnson rated it liked it
Top of the order is about a boy named Jackson. His parents are divorced and his best friend, Gig's dad is leaving with the national guard. They are one player short of having a team this year until Sydney, Gig's sister, shows up at practice. Gig is so mad he won't talk to anyone. Sydney ends up being one of the best players on the team and Gig is finally proud of her.
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.
Jack T.
May 16, 2014 Jack T. rated it it was amazing
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.
Tyler Lesly
Sep 27, 2014 Tyler Lesly rated it it was amazing
In the Top Of The Order by John Coy there were a lot of very interesting parts. Including when the catcher gets hurt and they need a second baseman. They try to find a replacement but they just can't find one. This is happening while 5th grade is ending and they have to go to middle school. Eventually they find one who will it be?
Nov 19, 2012 Morgan rated it liked it
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. :)
Jan 11, 2010 CuriousLibrarian rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
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.
Aug 06, 2016 Naomi rated it really liked it
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!
Jun 22, 2010 Samantha rated it it was ok
Shelves: msba-nominees
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.
Mar 17, 2009 Tracie rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-school, elem
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.
Feb 29, 2016 Mbarr rated it it was amazing
Talayia-Gig started off with being on a baseball team last week at his school with his friend and why because he was good at baseball and he loved it.
I love this book because it has real life thing about this book.
Molly Panzer
Mar 08, 2013 Molly Panzer rated it liked it
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.
Julius Dykhuis
Jan 17, 2016 Julius Dykhuis rated it really liked it
It was good and packed with great action, constit changes to who would be on his team and who he needed for certain positions!
Laura Gardner
Apr 09, 2009 Laura Gardner rated it liked it
Shelves: juv, friendship, sports
I think if I were an elementary boy really into baseball, I would love this book. Lots of baseball action sequences.
Ⓛeah ✿εїз✾
Dec 21, 2010 Ⓛeah ✿εїз✾ rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 29, 2011 Deena rated it it was ok
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John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and fiction and nonfiction picture books. His most recent books are Their Great Gift, a story about immigration with striking photographs by Wing Young Huie and Gap Life, a YA novel about a boy whose parents will pay for college as long as he studies what they want.
John has received numerous awards for his work includi
More about John Coy...

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