Team Players
Team Players

Series: Home Team Vol. 4   

To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: A girl with Asperger's joins Cassie's softball team but not everyone on the team welcomes her, creating a rift between Cassie and her teammates.
Catalog Number: #6129557
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 291 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-481-41007-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-481-41007-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017022014
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Cassie's middle-school softball team has a shot at the championship, but its dynamic is destroyed by the inclusion of a new player with Asperger's syndrome. In befriending Sarah, Cassie jeopardizes her own leadership. Lupica's preachiness interferes with his vivid sports writing in this fourth message-driven Home Team novel.
Kirkus Reviews
Cassie Bennett has just finished eighth grade and is starting her final middle school all-star softball season. What she doesn't realize is that it will be the most difficult yet best one yet.This year there's a new girl on their team who stands out, and it's not just because she is an amazing player. Cassie's dad, the team's coach, tells her that Sarah Milligan is on the autism spectrum. When Cassie tries to push her teammates to accept Sarah immediately, the team fractures, leaving Cassie and Sarah on the outside. In the end Cassie finally learns what she needs to learn: She can't fix people, either Sarah or her teammates. There is also a subplot of short-lived drama on the boys' baseball team due to a new coach, which becomes comic relief for both Cassie and readers. In the fourth installment in his Home Team series (Point Guard, 2017, etc.), Lupica consciously focuses on neurodiversity. Readers learn the difference between sympathy and empathy as well as the truth that no matter how many common traits they say people with autism share, everybody's different, and Sarah is most like herself. Among the resources Cassie consults is the website Autism Speaks; that there seems to be little awareness that it's not universally trusted by autism activists may raise eyebrows. On the sports side, the play-by-play makes little accommodation for readers who don't know the game, but those who are reading for the theme rather than the softball action should find that they can follow well enough.A base hit for readers interested in sports as well as neurodiversity. (Fiction. 8-12)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (8/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 54,085
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 194393 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:13.0 / quiz:Q73249
Lexile: 780L
Team Players


It wasn't as if Cassie Bennett were looking to make any new friends that summer.

She definitely wasn't looking to lose any.

She ended up doing both.

Excerpted from Team Players by Mike Lupica
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Cassie must learn that you can’t “fix” someone else after a girl with Aspergers joins her softball team in the fourth and final book of the Home Team series from New York Times bestselling author and sports-writing legend Mike Lupica.

Cassie Bennett is great at being in charge. She always knows what to do to lead her teams to victory, keep her many groups of friends together, or fix any problem that comes her way. So when Sarah Milligan, an autistic girl with unreal softball skills, joins Cassie’s team, Cassie’s sure she can help her fit in with the team.

But before long it’s obvious that being around so many people is really hard for Sarah, and the more Cassie tries to reach out and involve her, the more Sarah pushes her away, sometimes literally. It doesn’t help that Cassie’s teammates aren’t as interested in helping Sarah as they are in making sure they make it to the new softball All-Star Tournament that’ll be televised just like the Little League World Series.

Soon no one seems to even want Sarah on the team anymore besides Cassie, and the harder Cassie tries to bring everyone together, the worse things seem to get. Cassie Bennett never backs down from a challenge, but can she realize that maybe the challenge isn’t fixing a problem in someone else, but in herself? Or will her stubbornness lead her to lose more than just softball games?

*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.