I've just finished an advance copy of a new installment of Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids Series called Long Shot. The book is slated for a November 2008 release, which is appropriate since it follows two 11 year old boys through a middle school presidential election.
Pedro Morales is a basketball point guard with skills, and the desire to work hard. Ned Hancock is his team mate and the superstar player of every sport in their hometown. It is just assumed that Ned will be the captain of every sports team and also elected class president. Pedro's father immigrated from Mexico with his family as a boy and has worked hard to put himself through cooking school and is about to open his own restaurant. His positive attitude and "can do" attitude about everything is Pedro's inspiration to run for class president. Ned reacts like a jerk toward Pedro on the court and in the classroom, forcing Pedro to draw on his father's strength to be the better person.
I've read two other of the Comeback Kids Series and I like this one the best. Lupica always does the sports descriptions with great detail and accuracy. In this one he does the life lessons just as effectively. The positive portrayal of the Hispanic family will also make this a great addition to the library.
I'm off to start The Magic Thief.