Book: Rocket Man Author: Jan L. Coates Publisher: Red Deer Press Date: May 2, 2014 Genre: Middle grade (age 9-11; gr 4-6) Pages: 120, paperback Price: $12.95 My rating: many youngsters will relate
Rocket Man is a story I’m sure both male and female MG readers will really enjoy. Jan Coates‘ books are always appealing, and this one covers more than one topic to which many readers will relate.
Her main character is an eighth grader named Bob who is awkward around girls, bullied by a couple of guys at school and on his basketball team, feels he has to live up to his older brother’s example as an athlete. All that, and his dad, who also was a basketball legend, is fighting cancer. Bob considers himself to be Mr. Invisible.
The reader gets to like Bob right away. He practices hard to try to move up to the Division 1 basketball team, but things just don’t seem to go his way until one of his bullies gets into trouble. Bob’s brother starts paying more attention to him, impressed by his earnest efforts, and comes up with a more positive nickname for him – Rocket Man. You have to read the book to find out the reasons behind that.
Bob also puts a lot of work into an idea for a major fundraiser because of his dad having cancer, and that has exciting results.
Jan Coates has created a story of hope. She has touched on family dynamics and the emotions of a young boy in the midst of the struggles going on in his life, in a way that makes the reader care. If your pre-teen boy (or girl) is a reluctant reader, give him/her a copy of this book – even if he/she is not into basketball. Don’t let the cover fool you, it’s not really a book about basketball but the main character finds a way to make the sport work for him. Rocket Man is a good read.
You can find Rocket Man on my BUY THE BOOK page.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂