Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Rivals by Tommy Greenwald

Rivals Cover Art

Rivals by Tommy Greenwald
Abrams/Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
ISBN: 9781419748271

Things are heating up in Walthorne as rivaling North and South middle school boys’ basketball teams are set to compete. Austin and Carter are the stars of their respective teams, but their relationship complicates when they find themselves playing on the same travel team outside of school. Off the court, student-reporter Alfie Jenks interviews players and coaches to get the scoop, and the impact of her stories ripples farther than expected. The story veers from basketball to greater gender and economic inequality issues and wraps with an optimistic bow. 

Rivals is a compilation of interviews, social media posts, text messages, and alternating perspectives, and all print is double spaced. Students will appreciate reading a novel that feels more like scrolling online than reading a lengthy book. The rivalry is highly relatable, and multiple plot lines unfold in a clear manner. 

Fans of Tommy Greenwald’s other book Game Changer or Barbara Carroll Roberts’ Nikki on the Line will appreciate the mixture of sports and real-life issues. 

–Diana Ford, Baltimore, MD

Other Nominated Titles

  • The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff (April 13, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the Title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.