One of the newer teams in the NBA, the Bobcats played their first season in 2004--2005. With North Carolina’s history of strong college teams, fans have excitedly supported the new team as the Bobcats build toward the hoped-for championship. This entry in the “Team Spirit” series introduces this new team, describing the expansion draft from which the team was built, the team’s opening season, and their growing success. As in other books in the series, Stewart emphasizes teamwork and action--all of which will hook young readers. “Go-to Guys” leading the team are briefly discussed, as are the people “on the sidelines”--owner Robert Johnson, Coach Bernie Bickerstaff, and Michael Jordan. There also are chapters about the team’s uniforms and their “home court.” A chapter named “Talking Hoops” features quotes from players and coaches. Each book in the series follows the same format and chapter headings. Stewart’s smooth writing and good design, featuring large print, lots of colorful photographs, fun facts, a timeline, glossaries, and a map, combine to make this an easy and visually appealing read. Providing good basic information about the team, the players, and the game of basketball, this is a good choice for school and public libraries.
The Team Spirit series covers all the teams in the three major professional sports leagues—baseball, football, and basketball. Each book follows the exact same format, and the large print, colorful pictures, maps, time lines, and quotes make for an easy read and offer an eye-catching layout. Fans of the teams will not find much new information as the series is more of a basic introduction. Those with little knowledge of the sport or of the specific team would be well served to peruse these titles. Although most books provide a nice and simple introduction, some material is left out or forgotten. Several Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl titles were not listed on the time line of important team events. Most middle school sports fans will enjoy the series, but even some of these students might find the reading and material too simplistic. The series could also be useful for ESL students or teachers looking for low level/high interest nonfiction.
VOYA, October 2007