A Whole New Ballgame was written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tim Probert. This book was narrated by a fifth-grade boy named Mason Irving, also known as Rip. Him and his best friend Blake Daniels, also known as Red, love, live, and breathe basketball. They are adventure-seekers and athletic. They go to their first day of fifth grade with an idea set in mind of how it will go, but they are totally taken aback. The school is very different from what they have always known, and their teacher is not the same old fifth-grade teacher who worked at the school for 25 years. Mr. Acevedo, a young, tattooed, fun, and loud teacher is in their classroom. He does not like homework or tests or really anything “normally” in a classroom. He even has a classroom website where he posts assignments and important things to know. The story follows Rip as he explores this new teacher and a new basketball program at the school. Mr. A requires the class to do a project with someone he chooses, and Rip is alarmed when he is paired with Avery Goodman, a mean girl in a wheelchair. Rip and Avery think they know everything they need to know about each other until they start the project and learn a lot of new things about each other and their classmates. The book goes back and forth from classroom to court because Mr. A is also the basketball coach. Of course, Rip’s team are the underdogs, just like the class is unsure if they will pass their big test. But, the class and the team might just make it out on top. Read this book to feel young again, to feel inspired, and to feel like you can do anything you set your mind to!
This book is perfect for fifth graders! It is all about the fifth grade, but I could see how younger or older students would enjoy it as well! Rip’s experience with a new teacher, a new classroom setup, and a new basketball team can be related to anyone who has ever done something new. This book is great for people who are ready for something different.
This book is fiction, but could easily have been a true story. I wish it was true because the teacher, Mr. Acevedo, is amazing. He really has a passion of a real teacher, and the students in the book go through things that any kid goes through. I loved the storyline and I think that it was beautifully written.
A Whole New Ballgame brings out the past basketball player and the future teacher in me. Phil Bildner was trying to bring a new story to the world of books with this hidden gem. The book teaches about best friends, new beginnings, trust, hard work, teaching, and inspiration. It makes readers want to jump out of their seats, grab a basketball, jump on a desk, read in a bathtub, and make a difference in the world. Overall, this book makes readers go “Boo-yah!”