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Basketball Bats - by Betty Hicks, illustrated by Adam McCauleySee larger image
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Basketball Bats



Awards: Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

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About The Authors

By Betty Hicks and Adam McCauley

Betty Hicks, highly regarded for her novels for middle grade and older readers, turns her attention to children ready to begin reading real novels, in this first book in her Gym Shorts series of humorous sports stories, filled with friendship and action. Betty Hicks lives... More

Awards

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

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EXCERPT

1

Bug Juice

Henry felt lucky. He had four friends.

Exactly enough to make a basketball team.

To Henry, playing sports was better than triple-scoop ice cream. Better than the circus coming to town. Better than anything.

Henry dribbled the ball just inside the chalk line he’d drawn across his driveway. It marked the boundary of his backyard basketball court.

He did a spin move and drove for the basket. A layup is too easy, thought Henry. Instead, he pulled up short. He aimed and threw up a mid-range jump shot. Swish!

“I could squash you like a bug,” snarled a gruff voice.

“Huh?” Henry stared at the boy at the top of his driveway. He had spiky hair. His body slouched to one side.

“Me and my friends,” said Tough Guy. “The Tigers. We can beat anybody.”

“Yeah?” said Henry. “Well, I’ve got friends that are good, too.”

“I doubt it,” sneered Tough Guy.

I’d like to squash him like a bug, thought Henry.

But he didn’t say it out loud. Instead, he said, “We challenge you. Tomorrow. Right here—three o’clock.”

“Your funeral,” said Tough Guy.

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