Pass the Ball, Mo!

Viking. (Mo Jackson: Bk. 3). Jan. 2018. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780425289785.
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.

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