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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Maxx Airborne and the Legends of Rucker Park is a children’s book written in rhyme by Scot Barnett and illustrated by Kimberly B. Root. Maxx Airborne is dismayed when he is benched during a basketball game. As the shortest player, Maxx is believed by the rest of his team, the Courage Crew, to be too short to have the right talent. He tells them to put his skill to the test and find out for themselves, so they tell Maxx that he will be playing in that night's game against the Bandits – a team whose win record is unrivaled. Maxx heads to Rucker Park and practices with the pros and legends of basketball, all of whom teach Maxx the many tricks to be a phenomenal basketball player. After several hours of practice, Maxx feels the magic of basketball running through his veins and also feels certain of a defeat against the Bandits. In the fourth quarter when all seems lost, Maxx’s skills are put to the test. When he runs onto the court, the magic begins.
What a wonderful read! With such magical illustrations that bring the story to life, I thoroughly enjoyed this uplifting and inspirational tale. Maxx Airborne and the Legends of Rucker Park is a book which teaches many valuable lessons, such as not judging a book by its cover, never underestimating your full potential, and believing in yourself. When it comes to sport, it is not size that matters. Skill is an essential element in winning fairly. Scot Barnett has written a brilliant tale of a boy who is treated as unworthy to play on the team simply due to his small stature, but he proves them wrong, teaching them all a lesson in humility and trust. I recommend Maxx Airborne and the Legends of Rucker Park to readers aged 8 and over who feel that they might not belong or be good enough, as determination and practice are what it takes to win.