Jon Scieszka has been writing books for children since he took time off from his career as a teacher. He wanted to create books that boys would enjoy by enticing them with witty humor. He is the authorof the crazy best-selling picture books The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man. He has received several honors, including mentions on the ALA Notable Book and Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book lists, the Children's Choice Award, and the Caldecott Honor Medal. His original trade chapter book series, the Time Warp Trio, has sold over two million copies. Born in Flint, Michigan, Jon now lives in Brooklyn with his wif
Gr 4 Up-In his introduction, Scieszka states, "In keeping with the competitive spirit of sports, here is a collection of the fastest, strongest, funniest, wildest, and best sports stories." But this anthology is uneven and doesn't live up to that claim. It presents 10 short stories by 10 different authors, including Joseph Bruchac, Tim Green, and Gordon Korman plus autobiographical pieces by TV sportscaster James Brown and LA Kings hockey star Dustin Brown. One of the best is Dan Gutman's "How I Won the World Series," which is fun and funny. The same can be said about Anne Ursu's "Max Swings for the Fences," about a boy who claims to be the son of a famous baseball player to impress a girl he likes at his new school. Chris Rylander's "I Will Destroy You, Derek Jeter" is another fun tale. In it, a boy who was humiliated on TV when attempting to catch a ball hit into the stands by Derek Jeter comes up with several convoluted plots (including a witch doctor's spell) to "get even" with the Yankee star. Of the two nonfiction choices, James Brown's writing style and emphasis on education is much more impressive than Dustin Brown's. In general, these stories tend to leave readers unsatisfied-either with too many unanswered questions or wanting more of the best ones. This may lead them to search for more information or to read some of the full-length stories by the authors they liked. Maybe. There is no urgent need to add this one to your collection.-Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.