Dan Unmasked

HarperCollins/Harper. Jun. 2021. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062943057.
Gr 5-8–A story of comic books, baseball, and friendship. Dan and his best friend, Nate, love reading about the comic book adventures of Captain Nexus and the Zone. And the two boys are so close that they can tell by a tap of the nose what the other person is thinking—which comes in handy when Nate, a powerhouse pitcher on their baseball team, is pitching. When their team makes it to the playoffs, they are elated. Then Nate gets knocked out by a ball during practice, and a coma is induced to keep his brain from swelling. Dan is sure that this is the end of their championship hopes. Worse, he believes that he is responsible for the accident and that it is up to him to save Nate. Dan, Nate’s brother Ollie, and Olllie’s friend Courtney start trying to make that happen, with some surprising help from the comic book creator himself. In the end, readers learn it takes finding their own strength and goodness inside to make things happen. The baseball scenes from the tournament are engaging, and side characters are strong. Both baseball and comic book fans will enjoy this title. Fans of Mike Lupica and John Feinstein will also want to follow this engaging author. Dan is cued as white.
VERDICT Recommended for all libraries, this book about sports, comics, and the power of friendship will be widely read.

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