Pass the Ball, Mo! (Mo Jackson #3)

by David A Adler (Author) Sam Ricks (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: Mo Jackson

Mo may not be the biggest, the strongest, or the fastest basketball player, but he won't let that stop him from playing!

This Step 2 reader from Geisel Award winner David Adler is now in Step into Reading! Mo's latest obsession is basketball. He's determined to learn how to pass, but as the shortest member of the team, he can't seem to launch the ball high enough. Can Mo learn to pass in time to help his team win the big game? Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories, for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help. Rhyme and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story.

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—The newest title about the protagonist of Don't Throw It to Mo! and Get a Hit, Mo! is all about basketball. Mo is the shortest player on the Bees basketball team, but he has big dreams. He practices passing all the time ("'throw it higher, ' Coach Emma tells him")—at school, at home, even with blueberries into his cereal bowl. When the Bees play the Ducks, Mo is benched for most of the game but gets to come in at the end, when the score is tied. When Mo finally gets the ball, he passes it high—so high that he actually makes a basket and wins the game! The story ends with Coach Emma playfully telling him "it was a very bad pass. But your bad pass won the game." This charming story has many funny and relatable moments for sports lovers and underdogs, and shows the power of practicing and having the support of family, caring adults, teammates, and friends. There is a great deal of diversity featured in the illustrations—Mo and his family are African American, both basketball teams are coed, and the characters are majority people of color. The spot and full-page illustrations are simple, but with great character expression and movement. VERDICT Another enjoyable "Mo" sports story for beginning readers.—Jenny Berggren, Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley, CA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.


Executed well and fun to read, this is a great addition to an already acclaimed series.
David A Adler
David A. Adler is a former math teacher and author of more than two hundred picture books, biographies, and mysteries for children, including the Cam Jansen series and his Picture Book Biography Of... series. His many celebrated history books include Heroes of the Revolution, A Picture Book of Alexander Hamilton, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and A Picture Book Of Benjamin Franklin.

John O'Brien has illustrated over one hundred picture books, including Washington D.C. from A-Z, which was named an ILA Teacher's Choice Title. He has also done illustrations and cartoons for such publications as the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and Highlights for Kids magazine. John lives in New Jersey.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 20, 2021
Mo Jackson
BISAC categories
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JUV032020 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Basketball
JUV043000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Beginner
Library of Congress categories

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