New Release Books by Phil Bildner

Phil Bildner is the author of A High Five for Glenn Burke (2020), Most Valuable Players (2018), A Whole New Ballgame (2019), Tournament of Champions (2017) and other 49 books.

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A High Five for Glenn Burke

release date: Feb 25, 2020
A High Five for Glenn Burke
A 2021 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2020 A 2021 ALA Rainbow Book A Bank Street Best Book of 2021 A heartfelt and relatable novel from Phil Bildner, weaving the real history of Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke--the first professional baseball player to come out as gay--into the story of a middle-school kid learning to be himself. When sixth grader Silas Wade does a school presentation on former Major Leaguer Glenn Burke, it’s more than just a report about the irrepressible inventor of the high five. Burke was a gay baseball player in the 1970s—and for Silas, the presentation is his own first baby step toward revealing a truth about himself he's tired of hiding. Soon he tells his best friend, Zoey, but the longer he keeps his secret from his baseball teammates, the more he suspects they know something’s up—especially when he stages one big cover-up with terrible consequences. A High Five for Glenn Burke is Phil Bildner’s most personal novel yet—a powerful story about the challenge of being true to yourself, especially when not everyone feels you belong on the field.

Most Valuable Players

release date: May 29, 2018
Most Valuable Players
In the fourth book of the Rip and Red series, the two boys have one last basketball thrill ride before the end of fifth grade. It’s fifth-grade graduation time for Rip and Red, and this year’s festivities are going to be extra special because Reese Jones Elementary is also celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. As part of the gala, Hoops Machine, the exhibition basketball team, is paying a visit, and Rip may be playing a surprise role. But he and his friends need to finish their schoolwork first, which includes taking a newly required standardized test. However, when the students of Room 208 begin to question the need to take the test, a mini opt-out movement gains momentum. When the administration gets wind of this rebellion in Mr. Acevedo’s class, Hoops Machine, middle-school basketball tryouts, and walking at the graduation ceremony are in jeopardy. So is Mr. A’s job. But luckily for Rip, Red, their classmates, and their teacher, when you stand up for what you believe in, the people you’ve touched along the way rally to your corner. Most Valuable Players is the fourth book in the Rip & Red series, written by Phil Bildner with illustrations by Tim Probert.

A Whole New Ballgame

release date: Jan 01, 2019
A Whole New Ballgame
"From the first morning with their odd new teacher fifth grade is full of shocking surprises for best friends Rip and Red"--

Tournament of Champions

release date: Jun 06, 2017
Tournament of Champions
It's spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn't like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn't seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he's never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions is the third book in Phil Bildner's Rip and Red series.

Martina & Chrissie

release date: Jan 01, 2017
Martina & Chrissie
Traces the friendship and rivalry of tennis stars Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.

Rookie of the Year

release date: Jul 12, 2016
Rookie of the Year
Just when they think they've got the hang of things, Rip and Red find that fifth grade continues to challenge them in head-spinning ways. Tiki, a new girl whose Egyptian dad is an animal-rights activist, has just joined their class. She's charismatic, funny—and she's got game! Rip has his world turned upside down as Tiki proves to be tough competition on the Clifton United basketball team and leads a rebellion against the lousy new food service in the school cafeteria. Red—a kid on the autism spectrum—is struggling with the upheavals as well. But as these two funky and funny best friends discover, sometimes radical change is the right move, on the court and off. This title has Common Core connections.

Derek Jeter Presents Night at the Stadium

release date: Apr 26, 2016
Derek Jeter Presents Night at the Stadium
A baseball stadium comes to life in this magical picture book brought to you by legendary sports icon and role model Derek Jeter. Seven-year-old Gideon is overjoyed to be at Yankee Stadium watching his favorite team win! And when the game is over, he’s going to get an autograph from his favorite player. However, Gideon gets separated from his family and then he tumbles into a secret part of the stadium. There he discovers a magical world where everything from the rakes and the hoses to the bats and balls to the food to the monuments in Monument Park has a story to tell. But can Gideon finally find his family and get the autograph he really wants? An enchanting combination of Night at the Museum and Alice in Wonderland—with a little bit of Field of Dreams thrown in for good measure!—this book captures the excitement, wonder, and magic of your first trip to the ballpark!

Marvelous Cornelius

release date: Aug 04, 2015
Marvelous Cornelius
A man known as the "Trashcan Wizard" sings and dances his way through the French Quarter in New Orleans, keeping his beloved city clean, until Hurricane Katrina's devastation nearly causes him to lose his spirit.

The Soccer Fence

release date: Mar 13, 2014
The Soccer Fence
In a country struggling with acceptance, hope can come in many different forms. As a boy, Hector loved playing soccer in his small Johannesburg township. He dreamed of playing on a real pitch with the boys from another part of the city, but apartheid made that impossible. Then, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and apartheid began to crumble. The march toward freedom in South Africa was a slow one, but when the beloved Bafana Bafana national soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, Hector realized that dreams once impossible could now come true. This poignant story of friendship artfully depicts a brief but critical moment in South Africa’s history and the unique role that sports can play in bringing people together.

The Unforgettable Season

release date: Mar 03, 2011
The Unforgettable Season
At the start of the 1941 baseball season, neither Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees nor Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox were beloved by baseball fans. But that all changed when Joe started a 56-game hitting streak and Ted's batting average rose to over .400. Despite numerous challenges along the way-Joe had his bat stolen by an overeager fan and Ted's batting average dipped to .3995 on the last day of the season-the records set by "Joltin' Joe" and "The Splendid Splinter" have yet to be broken. New York Times bestselling author of the Sluggers series (with Loren Long), Phil Bildner has written an accessible tribute to two of baseball's greatest heroes. Packed with fun facts and statistics for eager fans to pore over, this book is sure to be a home run!

Blastin' the Blues

release date: Feb 22, 2011
Blastin' the Blues
The Travelin' Nine are headed to St. Louis and New Orleans as they continue to raise money to pay off their big league debt!

Home of the Brave

release date: May 04, 2010
Home of the Brave
After the rousing success in New Orleans, the Paynes face yet another crushing defeat when the Chancellor’s thugs finally steal the baseball—and kill their uncle in the process. Faced with a second funeral in as many months, Griffith, Ruby, and Graham are determined to beat the Chancellor at his own game and save their family as well as the game of baseball. Pulling into their hometown of Baltimore, the Paynes are reunited with a familiar face, and the Travelin’ Nine are tested on the field once again. Can they win without the help of their baseball? Prepare for fireworks in this final inning to the grand slam series, Sluggers!

The Hallelujah Flight

release date: Jan 07, 2010
The Hallelujah Flight
The extraordinary story of James Banning, the first African-American pilot to fly across country During the Great Depression, the ace black pilot James Banning decided to fly from coast to coast to serve as an inspiration to people everywhere. So with a little ingenuity and a whole lot of heart, he fixed up the dilapidated OXX6 Eagle Rock plane with his co-pilot and mechanic, Thomas Allen, earning them the derisive nickname, “The Flying Hobos.” But with the help of friends and family along the way who signed their names on the wings of the plane in exchange for food, fuel and supplies, Banning and Allen made it through treacherous weather and overcame ruthless prejudice to receive a heroes’ welcome upon landing in New York on October 9, 1932. This exceptional story of determination and pride, shown through John Holyfield’s energetic flight scenes and sweeping landscapes, will put you in the cockpit right alongside Banning and Allen as they complete the journey of a lifetime.

Great Balls of Fire

release date: Apr 14, 2009
Great Balls of Fire
In 1899, the trip to Chicago for Griffith, Ruby, and Graham becomes an adventure in itself after they realize their Uncle Owen has gone missing and the Chancellor has set his sights on the money the Travelin' Nine have been trying to raise.

Water, Water Everywhere

release date: Apr 14, 2009
Water, Water Everywhere
In over their heads? THE YEAR IS 1899, and the Travelin' Nine are barnstorming their way across the good ol' U.S. of A., trying to raise money to pay off the Payne family's big-league debt. Griffith has a run-in with the Chancellor and learns that the baseball isn't the only item the infamous industrialist is after. Even more mysteriously, the Chancellor claims to have something that the Paynes want. And Ruby. Where in the world has she vanished to? Does her disappearance have anything to do with the Chancellor's threats? Or is there some other plan in play? And finally, Graham makes a heartfelt birthday wish and somehow gets exactly what he asks for. But questions still remain: Was it real? Can it possibly be true? Or is it all just a dream? If they don't watch out, Griffith, Ruby, Graham, and the Travelin' Nine may find themselves in deep water in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!

Magic in the Outfield

release date: Feb 24, 2009
Magic in the Outfield
Griffith, Graham, and Ruby's father passed away in the war. And now they must join their mother and their father's wartime traveling baseball team, The Travelin' Nine, on a tour of America to raise money. No one will tell the kids why the team needs money so badly. Their only clue is a baseball with a hole the size of an acorn in it that their Uncle Owen gave to them the night of their father's funeral. They know very little about its significance except that their father made it with his own two hands and carried it with him throughout the war. And when all three kids hold the ball, strange things begin to happen...

Busted

release date: Dec 14, 2013
Busted
In high school, anyone can get busted. It could be the senior class ski trip, or maybe it's the way you cope with the school bully, or how you entertain yourself in the world's most boring class. Every kid has some secret crime, something that they are afraid they'll get in trouble for. In Busted, four different stories take place throughout one year at Coldwater Creek High School and intertwine to show that no one, whether you are an honors student or the best athlete in school, is safe from getting busted.

Playing the Field

release date: Dec 14, 2013
Playing the Field
All Darcy wants is to play on the baseball team, to hear her name announced, "Now batting, Darcy Miller," to play the field. Is that so much to ask? Unfortunately, it might be. In a few short months, Darcy Miller goes from typical senior in high school to candidate for Jerry Springer. Her mom has started dating Darcy's principal, the very principal whose son Darcy happened to have started a huge flirt-fest with, now brought to a screeching halt. When she decides to let her mom go to bat (so to speak) for her to play on the baseball team, Darcy thinks things are starting to look up. After all, Principal Basset caves and decides to let her play. But he has two conditions that shake up her entire game: She must pretend to be a lesbian (WHAT?) and she must join the GSA, the Gay-Straight Alliance (WHAT? WHAT?), the president of which happens to be her best friend -- make that her ex-best friend, Josh. Okay, Darcy's senior year might seem complicated at first. It's not. It's insurmountably, unforgettably, and -- most of the time -- hilariously complicated. But if anyone can handle it, it's Darcy. She'll do anything just to play the field.

The Shot Heard 'Round the World

release date: Sep 30, 2010
The Shot Heard 'Round the World
If you lived in Brooklyn in 1951, your life revolved around the Brooklyn Dodgers. Come summertime you bled Dodger blue. And it was in that summer of '51 that "Dem Bums" -- what we lovingly called our Dodgers -- caused their biggest stir of all. For the young Brooklyn Dodger fan in this story, the summer of 1951 was a summer for heroes. The Dodgers, with players like Jackie Robinson, Carl Erskine, and Clem Labine, faced off against the New York Giants in a pennant race that no one had seen the likes of and no one would ever forget. On October 2, 1951, the New York Giants of the borough of Brooklyn held its breath as the Dodgers faced the Giants for the third, tie-breaking game to determine which team would go on to play the Yankees in the World Series. More than just a story about baseball, this is a sweeping view of life in Brooklyn in the summer of 1951, from its streets, to its Cyclone, to its stadium. Phil Bildner pitches the ball and C. F. Payne hits a shot to be heard 'round the world giving this renowned story new life.

Horsin' Around

release date: Feb 24, 2009
Horsin' Around
The year is 1899, and the Travelin' Nine are crisscrossing the good ol' U.S. of A., raising money to pay off the Payne family's big-league debt! As the team heads into the River City, Griffith is beginning to realize that there's more at risk than meets the eye, something beyond the need to raise money -- something involving the ball that could put his entire family in danger. Ruby is eager to help solve the mystery of the ball and plans on keeping her eyes and ears wide open and writing everything down. She knows the answer is out there. All she has to do is see the things that others don't. And figure out what those things mean. Then there's Graham, who usually only thinks about how to get more time on the baseball field. Even he's beginning to notice that there are strange and shady characters at just about every turn. Finally there's the Chancellor, one of the wealthiest and greediest businessmen in the entire world. And it looks like he's got his eye on the ball!

Turkey Bowl

release date: Mar 30, 2015
Turkey Bowl
Finally old enough to participate in the big Turkey Bowl that takes place every Thanksgiving, Ethan and his friends are devastated when a powerful blizzard prevents them from reaching their destination and so must come up with a revised plan in order to keep the tradition alive!
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