Out-of-control competition leads to disaster. When Freddie Ruiz and his brother, Dondi, compete, it's like two mutts wrestling over the same bone-neither one is willing to give an inch. Unfortunately for Freddie, older, stronger, better-looking Dondi usually comes out on top in every contest. Except in one area: snowboarding. Here, Freddie is clearly king of the halfpipe. So when Dondi finally pushes Freddie too far, Freddie cooks up a snowboard showdown to make Dondi look foolish and himself the star. But will Dondi take the bait, or will he somehow turn the tables on his brother yet again?
Product description; Goodreads
What did I think?
The book is full of conflict and competition sure to entertain young readers, but I did have some concerns with as to whether or not I could recommend it.
There are 2 storylines that drive this book:
1. Freddie’s competition and rivalry with his brother Dondi.
2. Freddie trying to impress a girl.
There is a lot of anger and fighting in this book between the brothers, and the conclusion seems to be that this is normal between brothers. I don’t think that’s great advice.
Freddie desired to impress a girl whom his brother Dondi has taken an interest in, and Freddie will do whatever he sees necessary to accomplish this.
You can’t expect great maturity from a young guy in grade 7, but Freddie did not prove to be a great example for the kids reading this book I don’t think.
There are some redeemable aspects to this book such as Freddie’s father being involved in helping Freddie on his journey, the value of good friendship, and showing initiative from kids to work hard for something.
Saying all of this, I struggle with a recommendation. The book might connect with a kid in grade 7, but having a heated rivalry between brothers and desiring a girl because she looks good isn’t something I can recommend.
Matt Christopher is the writer young readers turn to when they're looking for fast-paced, action-packed sports novels. He is the best-selling author of more than one hundred sports books for young readers.
You can learn more about Matt Christopher at his website.