For as long as he can remember, Matt has wanted to play basketball. Now, as he tries out for the team at his new middle school, he realizes that the easy days of elementary ball are over and that this is a much more serious game. Dealing with a hard-driving coach, competitive teammates and his own insecurities in a new school, Matt needs to call on all his skills, both on and off the court, to make the team and keep his head above water. When he is involved, albeit unwittingly, in tagging a store with racist graffiti, Matt finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for. And when he fights back against an aggressive teammate and is threatened with suspension from the team, he learns that it is not only game-time decisions that count, but also the choices made after the crowd has gone home and the gym is silent.
Fresh from a thrilling basketball season playing for the varsity team, Matt is looking forward to a new challenge: baseball. The South Side team seems to be strong this yearif only Matt can control his fear of being hit by an errant pitch. But when Matt's friend, Jake, the team's star, falls in with the wrong crowd, the entire seasonnot to mention their long-standing friendshipseems to be on the line.
Trying to land a spot on the South Side Middle School football team isn't the biggest challenge Matt Hill faces in the third installment of this popular series. Besides catching passes and dodging defenders, Matt also has to deal with the return of his estranged father following a ten-year absence. But while Matt comes to grips with forgiving his father and gets used to having him around, he must also help a teammate deal with the damage inflicted by his own overbearing and sometimes violent dad. Full of the exciting sports action that marked the first two volumes of the South Side Sports series, First and Ten is a tale of choices made and lessons learned, both on and off the field. Book 3 in the series.
Jaz lives in the small northern community of Destiny and is a new member of the Junior Canadian Rangers. Her divorced parents argue a lot, and Jaz hopes if she wins a dog-mushing derby, they will be so proud of her they will stop arguing. But the derby would be a lot more fun if she wasn't paired with Colly, an older boy who is a more experienced JCR. On the derby trail all Jaz's newfound skills, her will to survive and her ability to get along with Colly, are put to a life-and-death test.
Nick, Kia and their basketball-playing pals are back in this sequel to Eric Walters' very successful "Three on Three". With the three-on-three tournament over, it's now time for tryouts for the school rep team. The question is will grade three students Nick and Kia have any chance to make the team? After all the rep team is normally made up only of grade five players. When Nick and Kia decide that they will try out for the team, they find they get a chilly and somewhat hostile reception from the older students. Even the coach seems to give them little hope of making the team. Only their old teammate Marcus is willing to stick up for them. But their determination pays off and they make the team, though both seem destined to ride the bench for much of the season. And the team itself does not get off to a good start, losing its first four games. And then Kia has an idea that she thinks might turn things around. But she and Nick will have to convince their reluctant teammates to buy into the plan and that's won't be easy. Once they persuade Marcus, Kingsley and Roy to practice the new strategy, the future begins to look brighter. Now at least Nick and Kia are getting some playing time, but can they keep the momentum going through the playoffs? Book 2 in the series
When Nick and his pals suddenly find themselves short a man for the NBA-sponsored three-on-three tournament they plan to enter during the summer holidays, the solution seems simple enough. Nick, Kia and Mark are the key players on the team, so the fourth, though mandatory according to the rules, doesn't really have to be good at the game. A surprise visit from Nick's mother's cousin brings Ned, who is exactly Nick's age but not exactly an athlete, into the picture and onto the team. Nick and Ned, though related, are about as different as two boys born on the same day can be. And they don't get along. Nick cares mostly about sports and basketball is his passion. Ned is crazy about bugs and lives out West in a national park, three hours' drive from the nearest basketball court. The other three teammates figure that as long as they don't actually have to use Ned in a game they will be fine. Then Mark sprains his ankle and can't play in the tournament. Suddenly Nick and Kia must find a way to make Ned an integral part of the team. This turns out to be no small task!
When Nick and Kia arrive for try-outs for the basketball team they played on the previous year, they are surprised to learn that their coach is retiring. The surprises continue when the new coach is introduced. Coach Barkley, a former college star known for his fierce desire to win, missed out on a pro career due to a serious injury. Though the coach has been away from the game for many years, his competitive instincts are as strong as ever and his aggressive coaching techniques are a new experience for these kids. Practices are long and hard and not nearly as much fun as they used to be. Suddenly making the rep team no longer seems the sure thing that Nick and Kia expected when they came to try-outs. The new coach expects near perfection from the youngsters and does not deal well with anything less. This is hard on Nick and Kia, but especially difficult for the coach's son, L.B., who is also trying out for the team.When the coach matches them up against a team of older players and then refuses to accept their loss, the kids begin to wonder if they even want to make this team. Nick, Kia and L.B. finally have to decide whether to play for a tyrant or to take a stand on principle and face the consequences. Book 4 in the series.