Thursday, July 5, 2012
Review: Playing the Field by Jannette Rallison
Thirteen-year old McKay is a talented baseball player, but as equally untalented when it comes to algebra. If he doesn't bring his grade up, his parents threaten to make him quit the team. His best friend Tony thinks the natural solution is for McKay to befriend Serena, a pretty girl in class, who also happens to get straight A's in algebra. Not only will that get McKay the tutor he desperately needs, but it will give Tony the chance to flirt with Serena's two best friends. Unfortunately, if McKay follows Tony's advice on how to "play the game," he might find himself in an even worse spot than when he was merely failing algebra. With a keen sense of wit, and more self-confidence than he gives himself credit for, McKay will keep readers alternately laughing and groaning as he is dragged kicking and screaming into the subtle (and often not so subtle) world of teen dating.
Although I love Janette Rallison, I was a little hesitant to read this book because it's ratings weren't as high as some of her other work. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is aimed at a younger audience and their eagerness/hesitance/nervousness to start dating.
I loved the way Rallison handled the issue. I felt like she accurately captured the essence of tween dating and the catastrophe it really is. The bickering, the note passing, and the dirty looks are all just the tip of the iceberg.
This was not my favorite book by any means, but it was entertaining, clean, and age appropriate. It was a book that kids who are just starting to date can relate to and enjoy. Bonus: it's only $0.99 for the e-book.
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2004)