BOOK of the week

Summer Ball

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Just in time for Father's Day comes this sequel to "Travel Team," sportswriter Mike Lupica's first book for kids.

As "Summer Ball" begins, Danny Walker is as basketball-obsessed as ever -- and as small as ever. The novel opens with a very real-sounding conversation at the breakfast table with Danny, his mom and his dad -- former basketball star Richie Walker -- talking about when Danny will get his growth spurt.

"Travel Team" readers might be surprised to read that Dad is at the breakfast table. That's one of the ways that Danny's life has improved: His mom and dad are back together. But Danny still faces some hurdles as he gets ready to go off to a basketball camp where everyone will be bigger -- and, he believes, better -- than he is.

You'll enjoy "Summer Ball" even if you haven't read "Travel Team," but it would be a shame to miss either of these exceptionally well-written sports books.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company