Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Super Sports Society Vol. 1 by Bryan Chick

by Bryan Chick
Illustrated by Brett Radlicki
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Chapter Book Sports Fiction
256 pages
ages 7 to 10

MAY 7th!!!

Two best friends. One spot on the baseball team. And a giant, looming, SMELLY turd tank. What could possibly go wrong? This is the first illustrated chapter book in a laugh-out-loud funny series told in dual point-of-view that's about friendship, teamwork, and the occasional fart joke. PFFFT . Fans of The Last Kids on Earth, Big Nate,  and  The Secret Zoo  will love The Super Sports Society.

Eleven-year-old Tommy has dreamed of being on the Bulldogs sports team forever. The Bulldogs eat, breathe, and fart sports. They’re part of the elusive Super Sports Society in his hometown, and Tommy knows that if he makes the team, he’ll be set up for life.
Meanwhile, Pel would rather be at home gaming in the air conditioning, but his mom decided that he has to “be a role model” to his little siblings (ugh!), and now he’s trying out for the Bulldogs too. At least that means the two BFFs won’t be in competition for the spot . . . right? ( Wrong .)
Join Pel; Tommy; the owner of a pickle store, Pete; a supercool girl named Clutch; a coach who wears sunglasses inside; and the rest of the Bulldogs sports team in this epically awesome illustrated book that’s packed with tons of laugh-out-loud moments.
But be warned—this book is based on a true story. Do NOT eat this many sunflower seeds at home . . . trust us.


This read snuggles up somewhere between chapter books and middle grade with a humorous tone, while swinging in a little drama and, for all things, baseball. 

Tommy is ready for middle grade and has a plan to join the best and most awesome group, the sports society. But to be a part of that crowd, he actually has to be prove his worth, and he's only played rec baseball up until that point. Tryouts for the real baseball team are serious business, which is why he's shocked when his friend Pel, who only loves video games, is forced by his mother to try out, too. With only a few open slots on the team, it's going to be hard for both to make it. Which could pose a problem.

Baseball sits at the center of this tale as it follows Tommy's and Pel's adventures through the tryouts and the aftermath of the final results. Fans of the sport will enjoy the tryout scenes as this does take the time to really sink into the game. The hopes, frustrations, determination, highs and lows come across with familiarity, and the terminology slides in naturally. There's even a love for sunflower seeds and nicknames, which adds a nice touch. All of this hits with humor and drama reminding of The Wimpy Kid and does a good job at setting the stage for the series.

This tale works well both for chapter book readers, who are edging toward longer reads, and for middle graders, who still enjoy the easier side. The font is larger and mixes in different styles, making in easy on the eyes while incorporating a little fun. It does weigh in at over 250 pages, but the text style and plentiful illustrations keep it from becoming overwhelming. The atmosphere hits on the first page with some fart humor, slides into fears of a 'turd tank', and continues on from there, leaning this one more toward the lower age group. Even the vocabulary fits well to this mid-age group and will delight more reluctant readers, too.

Baseball and sport fans are sure to appreciate and relate to the sport side, while the humor and sticky, middle grade situations are sure to delight other readers as well. 

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