Sometimes finding a book is more interesting than the book itself. When I found Patty Mills book, I was looking to see if we had a book in stock even though our system said we didn’t. This was due to a royal mess up from the publisher, but of course, I could not be that lucky. However, instead, I found two books that I wanted to read. One was a graphic novel (Agent 9: Flood-A-Geddon!) and this book: Game Day!: Patty Hits the Court.
I liked the idea of a non-American American athlete, even if they now played Stateside. I had never heard of Patty Mills as I do not follow basketball, but I know a few players. Obviously, that meant he was not at a “Larry Bird” or “Michael Jordan” level, but that made him even more interesting. He was important enough that publishers thought he would sell books, but not mainstream for a non-basketball person to know. And I always find that interesting: the important person you do not always hear about.
However, as an adult reader, I felt that the narrator had weak areas. This was mostly because, I never really felt that the character Patty learned the biggest lessons of you do not have to be perfect right off the bat and you only need to get better than you were. The competition with a classmate/teammate was realistic and believable (even how the other kid teases and you could even go as far as saying he bullies Patty) but Mills and Jared Thomas focused I think a bit too much on that one aspect and not how Patty himself growing. There were two other parts I was not a hundred percent liking. First, was that the authors assumed you knew a couple things before reading: that this was set in Australia and that the terms were not American football, etc. There is a glossary afterwards, but I was not aware of this and not sure how readers ages (strong) 6 to 10 (younger) will react. And second, the flow was not always smooth, I felt the author jumped you too quickly to a new idea/concept and again, not fully explaining it.
I understand thatmeant for this book to be a short novel, and filling in all the blanks difficult, I was just hoping for something a bit smoother in places. Still, the realism of the characters feelings, though, is relatable. Patty is a real person, and my displeasure in these things is the adult wanted more, but the child reader will be fine with it. Nahum Ziersch created a handful of black and white images to move the story along with the text.
Therefore, I recommend this for a sports person, but they do not necessarily have to be into basketball, but of course, that is a good audience. Due to one of Patty’s friends being female, girls could enjoy the book as well, but personally I felt it had a strong stereotypical “boy book” feeling.