Safe at Home (Comeback Kids #2)

by Mike Lupica (Author)

Safe at Home (Comeback Kids #2)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: Comeback Kids
From #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica!

Nick Crandall feels like he doesn't belong anywhere. He doesn't fit in with his new foster parents. They don't know the first thing about sports - and he's not exactly the model student they want him to be. It's only a matter of time until they realize he's not the right kid for them. And Nick certainly doesn't belong playing varsity baseball. He's only twelve years old! His teammates want a catcher their own age. But Nick needs to prove that he belongs - to his parents, to his team, and to himself.

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School Library Journal

Gr 4-7—Nick Crandall, a seventh grader, is looking forward to being the star catcher of his junior varsity baseball team. However, when the varsity team catcher is injured, Nick must suit up behind the plate with the eighth graders. Frustrated by Nick's presence, the team members go to great lengths to make the boy feel unwelcome. Nick cracks under the pressure. As with most Mike Lupica novels, Nick's home life plays a significant role in this installment (Philomel, 2008) in the series. The fact that Nick is adopted, and that his parents are both professors with little interest in sports, are burdens for Nick to bear. Predictably, Nick saves the day at the big game, and even finds a way to connect with his dad, all within a few weeks. This title is a good choice for reluctant readers with a background in baseball, as not all terminology is explained. Keith Nobbs's narration helps to build tension and excitement. While Nick's emotional intelligence is a bit advanced for his age, it allows the story to move at a rapid pace. For boys and girls who have outgrown novels by Matt Christopher.—Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, Florence, KY

Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for the Comeback Kids:

"Lupica portrays the action clearly and vividly, with a real sense of the excitement and unpredictable nature of the games. These are worthy additions to collections seeking to draw in middle-grade boys with an enthusiasm for athletics." -School Library Journal

"These should score big with middle-graders looking for alternatives to Matt Christopher's titles." -Publisher's Weekly

"This title is a good choice for reluctant readers with a background in baseball." -School Library Journal
Mike Lupica
Mike Lupica is a NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of several books for young readers. His NEW YORK DAILY NEWS column is syndicated nationally. Mr. Lupica lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children. You can visit Mike Lupica at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 20, 2009
Comeback Kids

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