Publication Order of Comeback Kids Books
|Hot Hand||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Two-Minute Drill||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Long Shot||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Safe at Home||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Shoot-Out||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Authored by Mike Lupica, the comeback kids’ series is a well-known collection of young adult novels. Very captivating, the series consists of 5 books; Mike Lupica is a sports newspaper columnist, not only has he made several appearances on ESPN, but also has a sport section in the New York Daily News. Having written over 20 novels between 1984 and 2007, he was a nominee for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Dead Air (1986), on the Best First Mystery.
Speaking of the Comeback Kids series, each book has a different storyline and protagonists, but they all have one thing in common, the love for sports. Having been written and published between 2007 and 2010, below are few descriptions of the first two books:
Two minute drill (2007)
The first novel in the comeback kid series sequel, this young adult novel has gained so much popularity among avid sport fans. However, it does not matter whether you are a sports over or not as you will most likely find something to relate with in this novel. Mike Lupica wrote this novel in the context of football, a well-known American game and one among the most popular ones today. We are introduced to Scott, a charismatic, smart, but less athletic kid in sixth grade. He recently moved to Bloomfield South and is constantly bullied but he becomes friends with Chris Conlan.
Mike Lupica does a really good job of developing the characters from scratch, you get to relate with Scott and Chris and their personality as they mature slowly in the course of the novel. The important theme that comes across in this novel is friendship and Mike Lupica being a sport columnist, obviously has hints and inside information on how athletes interact with each other, but through him, we get to see it through the eyes of an adolescent.
Opposites attract, Scott is a very smart kid while Chris is athletic and the team’s quarterback. We get to learn about each of their secrets and fears, Scott can also play as well, but does not want anyone to know because he fears that he is going to mess up On the other hand, Chris is dyslexic and terrified that he will be put through special education, but all he wants is to hang out more with his friends.
Throughout the novel, Scott’s personality remains the same, but we get to see a little bit of twist in the novel when he takes Chris’ place in the field when he is injured. Too bad for the bullies! This book will definitely hook you up from the beginning; the plot has been interestingly developed without any glitch. Its introduction is catchy, but there is suspense towards the end of the book. Scott injures his wrist before the next game in which he was guaranteed a chance of playing. This is because one of the big kids on the team intentionally hit him, consigning him to the emergency room. The next game is the Championship, what is Scott going to do? Pick up the novel and have a fun read to find out.
Hot hand (2007)
The next best novel in this series, Mike Lupica seems to be growing on us. In this book we at least get to see how the world of basketball operates, we are introduced to Billy Raynor, a very dedicated ten year boy who is determined to score on this year’s basketball championship. As you read the novel, you also get to see the troubles he has ongoing at home, his parents are getting a divorce and this is not going well with Billy.
Mike Lupica tries to focus more on the development of Billy Raynor as a character and his father is the coach of the team that Billy is playing at. We get to see some personality change in Billy as the story goes on; he is an athletic kid with brown hair. On the other hand, we are introduced to Billy’s father, though Mr. Lupica does not really get into his character as much.
Billy’s brother Ben is also having a hard time with divorce but Billy is trying to help him get through this. Back to basketball, Billy is the best player on his team and described as the best shooter in the league. Despite having troubles at home, Billy’s team makes it to the championship. His father is all over him about being a team player but Billy prefers shooting to passing the ball.
In this novel, we get to see the concept of conflict and resolution. In conflict; Billy’s mother does not have the time to give him the support that he really needs and besides she is never around. His father is really pushing him to be a great basketful at the same time ignoring the problem at hand.
Through these series, we are introduced to the common struggles and aspirations of the common kids. The author ensured no stone was left unturned in keeping his audience entertained as well as educated and informed. Perhaps the good thing about it all is that he used common stories among the kid world to try and illustrate the various themes that children identify with.
Being a sports lover, Mike Lupica tries to draw us into the real scene. Not only is he talking about sports, but also the essence of family and friends in our lives, especially when you are an athlete. For instance, the theme in Hot Hand is, “Even though life cannot be perfect, you start realizing that other things are worth fighting for,” He also gets to employ different stylistic devices in the series to make it more interesting and worth reading, for example flashback, irony and many more.
Unfortunately, none of these book series has been turned into a movie. However, there was a 1980 screen adaptation with a similar title and genre. We can therefore conclude that maybe Mike Lupica got his inspiration from this film.
These novels, in the sequel are strongly recommended for individuals who love sports in general, it can be basketball, rugby, hockey and many. Mike Lupica wrote this novel mainly for the much younger audience, but age does not matter much if you are an ardent reader.