Sports story about sibling rivalry. Lots of snowboarding details. Realistic characters, situations, and dailog. Not too cluttered with side plots. Fast, engaging read.
Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, March 2012
Two brothers compete with each other in an intense case of sibling rivalry in a book addressing adolescent concerns. Snowboarding, a popular extreme sport, is the preferred form of competition between the brothers and their peers. The brothers come to blows throughout the novel, as they search of their own identities and their places in the family unit. Readers are carried through the lives of these two young men to the defining moment of their fraternal relationship. Matt Christopher is able to pull contemporary, young adult reader into the novel by using teenage slang and through his understanding of adolescent social angst. From the bullies to the friends, the characters are endearing and memorable. Christopher has taken a familiar young adult theme and produced an action filled adventure that instructs as it entertains.
Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
Cap's rural Texas town is too small for a football league, until Grandpa suggests starting six-man teams. In Snowboard, Mexican-American brothers Freddie and Dondi challenge each other to a pair of snowboarding competitions. The typical Christopher formula of pedestrian plots, limited characterization, and lots of sports action keeps current by including disabled and minority characters, as well as a few contemporary expressions. Category: Intermediate Fiction. Rating: 4: Recommended, with minor flaws.
Horn Book (Horn Book Guide, Spring 2000)
Norwood House has produced large-print hardback library versions of the Matt Christopher Sports Library of sports oriented fiction for grades 3-6. This spring’s offerings include Catch That Pass; Center Court Sting; The Kid Who Only Hit Homers; Mountain Bike Mania; Snowboard Showdown; and Soccer Halfback. Each book provides exciting stories with conflicts centered around the different sports that kids love. These are sturdy volumes made to withstand many readings. Each is a fun read that still provides important, values-based food for thought. They are perfect for young reluctant readers. They are “Accelerated Reader” compatible. We rated this excellent series five hearts.
Reader: Bob Spear