Ms. Yingling's Reviews > The Rookie Bookie

The Rookie Bookie by L. Jon Wertheim
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really liked it

Mitch's family has moved from California to Illinois, where his artist parents feel that they will be more successful with their shop. Mitch hopes so-- he is quite fond of money, and backs up his affection with some realistic math skills. He applies these math skills to sports teams as well, and has on more than one occasion taken bets on games, hence the title of the book. Mitch's older brother, Kevin, is a decent football player on the high school team, but Mitch's small size and lack of athletic ability means that his skills are quite different from his brother's. Trying to fit in to his new school, Mitch investigates the sports options but realizes that the best way to connect with people is to offer them the opportunity to bet. Against the school rules? Maybe, but if you don't think about it too hard, you don't actually know this. Mitch enlists the help of football playing Jamie, who happens to be a girl but is good at sports and willing to help him collect money for his scheme. She's a little leery about the legalities, but when Mitch tells her that his family needs money, she keeps going. Mitch does make a few other friends and becomes involved in the life of his new school, but sooner or later his side business is sure to be uncovered. Luckily, he also makes himself valuable to the football coach, and the basketball coach approaches him at the end of the book, leading me to believe that there will be a book two!

Strengths: This has a lot of things going for it-- sports, a girl (even though Mitch IS. NOT. INTERESTED. IN. HER.), a unique problem at school, and some problems at home as well. I thought the voice was convincingly middle grade, even when Mitch talks about statistics and money and math. It's really, really hard to work math into a middle grade novel, and many have tried, but this was probably the most successful treatment of the topic that I've read. Hats off to Wertheim and Moskowitz for transitioning to MG fiction!
Weaknesses: Some of the math talk isn't quite as good as others, and it took a little bit of a stretch for me to believe that Mitch didn't know that taking bets was against school rules. On the other hand, we've had students at my school try to sell oregano in baggies and say that it's marijuana, so it's possible.
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Reading Progress

May 29, 2014 – Shelved
May 29, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
July 27, 2014 – Started Reading
July 30, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Rue13 Very accurate and in depth summary. I liked this review. ☺

message 2: by Jaylee (new)

Jaylee unbelivable

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