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Fast Break (Jeter Publishing) by [Derek Jeter]

Fast Break (Jeter Publishing) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 30 ratings

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Length: 169 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 - 7

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About the Author

Derek Jeter is a fourteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series winner who played for one team—the storied New York Yankees—for all twenty seasons of his major league career. His grace and class on and off the field have made him an icon and role model far beyond the world of baseball.

Paul Mantell is the author of more than 100 books for young readers, including books in the Hardy Boys and Matt Christopher series. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One: Triple Challenge
“It’s a rocket to short—OOHH! Jeter makes the diving stab going away from first, then throws from his knees and nails the runner! What a play! That’s one for the ages, folks! Let’s watch it one more time, in slow motion.…?”

“Derek! Are you with us?”

Derek Jeter snapped to attention, his beautiful daydream gone in an instant. The whole class full of sixth graders laughed.

“Yes, Ms. Terrapin, I’m listening. Sorry.”

“Summer is over, everyone,” said the teacher. “I know it’s still early September, and it’s warm and sunny and beautiful outside—but we’ve got a lot of work to cover, and I need your attention.”

The trouble was, summer was over. It felt like a million years since Derek was up at his grandparents’ place in Greenwood Lake, New Jersey.

It had been the best summer ever! Derek’s best friend Dave Hennum had come for a week to join him. They had played baseball with a bunch of city kids in the Bronx, who would have all been Little League all-stars—if only they’d had a league of their own.

After playing ball with them, Derek’s game was better than ever. He couldn’t wait to play again! In fact, he’d just gotten caught daydreaming about it.

Too bad his next chance was seven months away. In the meantime, all he could do was play pickup games on Jeter’s Hill—the sloping patch of grass in Mount Royal Townhouses, where Derek spent so much of his time that the other kids had named it after him.

In a month or so, cold weather would force everyone else indoors—but not Derek. From October through March, the only kid in Kalamazoo who thought it was warm enough to play baseball was Derek.

He would go to the batting cages with his dad every once in a while, of course, but that was about it. And Derek could feel already that it wouldn’t be nearly enough to see him through till spring. No, he was going to have to find something else to do until then.

But what?

“Class,” said Ms. Terrapin, interrupting his train of thought, “in a couple of weeks we will be moving forward into the wild worlds of algebra, chemistry, biology, and earth science.”

There were murmurings from all around the room. “Ugh. Sounds hard,” Derek heard Sam Rockman mutter behind him.

“Don’t be a wuss,” Gary Parnell whispered back to the complainer.

“Lay off him, Gary,” Derek said.

Sam shot Derek a silent Thank you with his eyes.

Sam Rockman was always scuffling to get a passing grade. He was very nice, but some things took him a little longer to understand—like math. And science.

Gary Parnell, on the other hand, was the class brainiac—which would have been fine, except that he loved to brag about it. Especially to Derek, whom Gary considered his biggest rival.

Gary insisted on making every quiz and every test a contest between the two of them—just to prove who was smarter.

Derek never backed away from the challenge—which was probably why Gary never got tired of beating him. Derek could count on one hand the number of times he’d come out ahead, but that didn’t stop him from trying even harder the next time.

On the other hand, when it came to anything involving sports or exercise, Gary usually got a D at best—if not an F. He always acted like it was torture to break a sweat. Last spring, when he’d been forced to play baseball by his mom and wound up on Derek’s team, he’d spent the first three weeks of the season complaining nonstop.

Ms. Terrapin cleared her throat, a signal for the class to quiet down. “Before we move on to sixth-grade work, though, we’re going to test what you’ve already learned. Or at least how much of it you’ve retained over the summer.”

She started passing out test booklets. The kids in front handed them back until they reached the rear of the classroom. Derek noticed that Sam took his reluctantly, with a little shudder of dread.

“As you may know, national standardized tests are coming next spring. They’re very different from what you’ve experienced—and they test everything you’ve ever learned. So naturally they take a lot of time to prepare for.” Another murmur went through the class; a soft ripple of worry.

“So we are giving you a ‘pretest.’ In addition to giving you valuable practice, it will help us measure your current levels of learning. Don’t worry—your scores won’t count this time around. But for those of you who are behind and need more help, we’ll be recommending after-school study and tutoring between now and next spring.”

“Yikes!” said Sam, fidgeting nervously in his seat. “Extra study? Tutoring?”

Gary pretended to yawn. “It’s good to be a genius,” he whispered to Derek. “I get to spend all my extra time playing computer games.”

“The practice exams will be on September twentieth and twenty-first,” said Ms. Terrapin. “One day for English and one day for math. We will be using last year’s tests to practice on. Between now and then we will be reviewing for it. I will expect you to go through these study booklets at home.”

She stood behind her desk, a gleam in her eye. “Now. Principal Parker has offered a special pizza party to the class that does the best. As the world’s biggest pizza fan, I expect my class to bring home the pie!”

That got a big cheer—although there were plenty of nervous looks going around too.

“Je-Ter… pre-pare to be de-feat-ed!” Gary said, using his best sci-fi robot voice.

“Who’s that supposed to sound like?” Derek shot back. “Frankenstein?”

“Don’t you know anything? It’s Jar-El, the final boss!”


“From DoomMaster,” Gary explained, as if Derek were a two-year-old and didn’t know his fingers from his toes.

“Oooh. Okay,” Derek said doubtfully. “Gotta say, I’ve never heard of Jar-El—or DoomMaster. Just so you know, though—I am not going to be de-feat-ed on this test. Not by Jar-El, and definitely not by you, Par-Nell.”

Smack-talking was one thing, but actually beating Gary out on a test that measured everything they’d ever learned? That was going to take a lot of extra studying between now and the twentieth!

“Here’s something else to take home,” said Ms. Terrapin, handing back another bunch of papers. “Applications for the Fall Talent Show.”

“Yesss!” Vijay Patel said, pumping his fist. He looked across the room to Derek, waving the form at him excitedly and pointing at it with his other hand.

Derek had completely forgotten about the Fall Talent Show. Now he remembered that he and Vijay had talked about it over the summer—or written about it, to be more accurate.

Vijay had been halfway around the world in India last summer, attending a family wedding with his mom and dad—which was why he hadn’t joined Derek and Dave at the lake.

Vijay had written though—all about his gigantic family and Indian wedding customs. He’d also suggested the two of them work up a break dance routine for the Fall Talent Show.

Derek had sort of said “okay”… then proceeded to forget all about it. But obviously Vijay had not forgotten. Not at all.

“All right, class, you can start packing up your things,” said the teacher. “The bell’s about to—and there it goes,” she finished as the bell chimed in right on cue.

“Better start cramming, Jeter,” Gary said. “Oh no! Is that sweat on your forehead? You wouldn’t be worried, now, would you?”

“Not a chance,” Derek shot back, showing more confidence than he felt. “Forget Jar-El—I am Je-Ter, and you are going to find out who’s the real final boss.”

“Wait up, Derek!”

Vijay came up to him as he was repacking his book bag in the hallway.

“Hi, Vij.”

“So cool, right? You and me in the talent show?” He put out his hand for a high five.

“Definitely,” Derek said.

Truth was, the idea of the two of them break-dancing onstage did seem like fun. It definitely would make everyone at school stand up and take notice. He and Vijay sometimes fooled around with dance moves when they were over at each other’s houses—but nobody at school knew either of them were into it.

If Derek wasn’t all that enthusiastic right at the moment, it was because his mind was focused on outscoring Gary on the big test. Creating a talent show act definitely was going to infringe on his study and review time.

“So, let’s get going!” Vijay said happily. His parents both worked late at the hospital on Thursdays and wouldn’t be home till six, so the two boys had planned to spend the afternoon together at Derek’s.

“Last one on the bus is a rotten egg!” Derek said—and the race was on.

Derek got to the school’s front lobby way ahead of Vijay. And there was Dave, staring at something posted on the big bulletin board.

“Derek! Check this out!”

Derek looked over his shoulder for Vijay but couldn’t see him through the crowd of kids cramming the lobby, all of them trying to get out the door at once.

“What is it?”

“AAU basketball tryouts at the Y!”

“Whoa! Already?”

“A week from Saturday! Are you psyched?”


“We’re gonna have to get our game in gear,” Dave said.

Just then a breathless Vijay finally made his way over to them. “I couldn’t get through that mob!” he said, laughing. “You are way too fast for me, Derek.”

“Hi, Vij,” said Dave.

“Hi, Dave. Hey, Derek, we’d better get going. The bus is going to leave without us!”

“Talk to you later, Derek,” said Dave, who always got driven home and never took the bus. “We’ve got to make some plans.”

“Definitely!” Derek waved, then followed Vijay out to the bus, his head spinning. Fifteen minutes ago he’d been looking at an easy, relaxed weekend. Now he was looking at a three-ring circus!
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 169 pages
  • File Size : 3182 KB
  • ASIN : B07GNVL23W
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Reprint Edition (16 April 2019)
  • Language: : English
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 30 ratings
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