Title: Home Games
Author: Ben Markovitz
Publishers: Harper 360
Genres: Middle Grade, Teen, Coming of Age, Sports
Release Date: 4th February 2020
Where To Buy: Amazon UK, Amazon USA, Book Depository
Summary:Twelve-year-old Ben is a shy, quiet kid. His life isn’t perfect, but he feels at home in his New York City apartment. Then his dad takes a job in London, and everything changes.
His parents separate, and Ben’s mom moves them back to her hometown of Austin, Texas. Ben’s simple life is suddenly complicated. He misses his apartment, his best friend, Jake, and his dad.
Then he meets Mabley, who becomes a bright spot to Ben’s day. But when his mom starts working at his new school and making friends with his teacher, Ben finds himself at the center of all the problems the adults around him can’t resolve—and even some of his own. That includes joining the school’s basketball team, where Mabley’s best friend is the star player.
After being pushed around, looking for his place, Ben will have to learn how to stand his ground.
Thank you so much to Harper 360 for sending me a physical copy to read and review of this book.
Review: This book follows Ben as his life changes completely, he is a very introverted and socially awkward young boy and liked his comfortable life in New York. When his family separates he is uprooted to live in Austin with his mum and Granma. It’s not easy for him starting again and being new to the town, to the school and having to figure out who he’s going to be there and all without his dad around.
What I did like was the progression of the story and character progression, Ben was always going to struggle with social situations as it was obvious in chapter one he was socially awkward but the fact that over time he tried and attempted to make changes and talk to people more was great. He develops as the story does, he’s forced to do something he doesn’t enjoy but then as it progresses finds he might enjoy it, he grows and learns.
I liked the friends that were there, I wish he had of understood how much they liked and wanted him as a friend though and maybe then he wouldn’t have struggled as much. Mabley and Laura both clearly needed him as a friend and though he tried with them, most of the time his lack self-confidence got in the way.
One issue I must say I had with this book is that it didn’t feel like a Middle Grade book to me. It felt more like a young Teen book. It was very mature and grown up, the way the characters spoke, the issues they were dealing with and it also had swearing in it, which I personally wouldn’t provide a book to a MG aged child that features that.
Overall it was a good book, a bit slow in places but it was a good read and I liked the way the story developed, It had good progression and an interesting ending. I’m so thankful to Harper 360 for being kind enough to provide me with a copy to review.
About Author: Ben Markovitz grew up mostly in Texas and London. He has published eight award-winning adult novels. He lives with his family in London, where he teaches creative writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.