New Kid

Book review by
Joe Applegate, Common Sense Media
New Kid Book Poster Image
Gripping sports story about a boy's struggle for identity.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

Readers will learn the fine points of big-league pitching from author Tim Green, a former pro football player and now an amateur baseball coach.

Positive messages

As in baseball, so in life, you struggle to be yourself while remaining part of the team. Sometimes you have to stand up to your parent to pursue your dreams. 

Positive role models & representations

The high school coach, while battling personal demons, shows patience and understanding toward Brock, who struggles to control his pitches. The coach even steps aside at a critical moment to let someone else help his protege.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

The coach, after the death of his son, becomes an alcoholic.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that New Kid, by bestselling author Tim Green, shows a high school baseball player fighting for his identity against a formidable adversary: his shadowy, ultra-strict father, who has reason to fear for his boy's safety. It's an engrossing story with no troublesome content, save for a coach who becomes an alcoholic after the death of his son. 

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What's the story?

A father is mysteriously on the run, dragging along his teen son, who has to change his name with every move. Young Brock (formerly Tommy), knows his dad loves him but struggles to find his true self, this time in a high school in upstate New York. There the baseball coach spots his talent as a pitcher. Brock's dad agrees to let him play for the town's traveling team but shows up to snatch him away at the worst possible moment.

Is it any good?

Bestselling author Tim Green, who writes frequently about sports, spins an engrossing tale for young baseball players, male and female, with a climax that ends on the last pitch. The writing in NEW KID is mostly sharp but sometimes dips into sentiments worthy of a needlepoint pillow.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about playing sports. Does it sometimes amplify the tension between fitting in and standing out? 

  • Do you like reading novels about sports? What are some of your favorites? 

  • Brock, who's constantly uprooted, makes friends with characters in books. Have you ever felt close to a book character? Which one or ones? 

Book details

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