Review Blog

Jul 01 2013

Athlete vs mathlete by W.C. Mack

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2013. ISBN 978 1 599 908 58 8.
Owen and Russell are fraternal twins who have very different interests.  Owen loves basketball and Russell loves maths and Master of the Minds.  They are each happy with their role until the new basketball coach gets Russell to try out for basketball because of his height.  After reluctantly going along with it against his better judgment, to his own and everyone else's surprise he gets on the team.  This leads to trouble with Owen and Russell's non basketballing friends who think he is letting them down in their efforts to win Master of the Minds.  What follows is an exploration of the relationship between brothers as Owen resorts to dirty tactics to retain his position.
The story also explores how we each have our own concept of our value and self-worth.  This is done subtly and is resolved in a way that restores the relationship between the brothers as they each appreciate their strengths and realize that together they are stronger.
There is enough about basketball to keep the sporting reader happy whilst the other areas add some depth to the story.  I think that primary/middle school readers would find it an enjoyable read.
David Rayner

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