Gym Shorts: Doubles Troubles
What You Need to Know:|
• Doubles Troubles is one in a series of sports stories for sports obsessed, newly independent readers.
• This book is centered around the sport of tennis. Other sports in the series include basketball, soccer, swimming,
baseball, and track.
• This series should work nicely if you have a reader who would rather be outside playing sports than reading.
Sweet Series Background:|
Henry, Jazz, Rocky, Rita and Goose are friends who love to play sports. This beginning chapter book series chronicles their athletic escapades and their friendships. We are not talking Tolstoy here, but this is a solid addition to a lacking genre, sports books for early (often reluctant) readers. The inside flap sums it up neatly, describing this series in the following way: "...in the action-filled Gym Shorts series, [these are] sports books that pack the energy of the gym into short novels for kids new to reading." I tip my hat to the marketing people; they described the series so perfectly I didn't need to do it myself.
In Doubles Troubles, Henry and Rocky are tennis partners. Henry is quite a tennis player but Rocky could use some work on his serve and backhand. Henry originally is disillusioned that his partner can't play very well. But Henry decides his friendship with Rocky and Rocky's feelings are more important than winning, and he will just try to enjoy playing. This goodwill lasts until the tennis coach announces that the winning pair of tennis partners will get to play the winner of the other rec league. Rocky's determination and drive to win takes over and he insults Rocky on the court and really hurts Rocky's feelings. Meanwhile, in school Henry is struggling with a school project and even though he tries his hardest, his best is just not as good as his partner's work. Henry finally sees the correlation, apologizes to Rocky, and all is well with their friendship.
To reiiterate, this is not great literature. But it does fill the lacking niche of sports books for emerging readers. The play by play tennis scenes make me want to take a nap, but a small reader who loves tennis will love it. There are six novels in all. In a convenient step, the publisher has created an edition that puts two novels in one book, in paperback form. This edition would be a homerun if your reader loves these books, they would just need to flip the book over to read another Gym Shorts book!
2010, 64 pages
Friendship, Sports, Feelings
• What is your favorite sport?
• Have you ever been frustrated by the way a teammate is playing?
• Have you ever been frustrated with a partner in school? What did you do about that?
• Is there anything you are really good at?
• Is there anything you aren't so good at?
• How does a good sport behave?
• What is good sportsmanship?
• What does it mean to be a poor sport?
• Why is good sportsmanship important?
• How do you feel when you don't do well and someone is not nice to you because of it?
• How should you behave when you are frustrated with your partner?
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