Monday, August 17, 2009

Open Court Carol Clippinger

Open Court by Carol Clippinger 13yr old Halloway (Hall) is very good tennis player. She is ranked number four in the USTA, Junior Division, Girl's 14. With all of Hall's success comes more pressure to succeed. After Hall witnesses her doubles partner, Janie have a break down, she begins to doubt if she has what it takes. Her killer instinct is gone. We get to see all sides of Hall, on the practice court with her coach being pushed to the brink or hanging out with her friends. The author commited to the story on and off the court. On the court, Hall wants to be the best, worries about not meeting expections, and wonders where her coaches voice has gone and if it will ever return.

"I quieted my breathing. And waited. Still, my guts weren't bubbling I closed my eyes, bowed my head slightly, listening, I felt a light rumble, mumble, in my belly. It was Coach's voice, finally but the volume was so low I couldn't decipher his commands. I bounced up and down, waking my feet. Quickly I tossed the ball and slammed my racquet into it. Out. Anyone can mishit. No big deal. Again. Toss. Slam the ball. Out. Come on, Hall I told myself. It's a serve to no one. Get it right! Again. Toss. Racquet back. Extend racquet. Hit it lightly. Nice and easy. Can't miss this one. But I did. Trent's voice is a part of my game. Makes me win. My guts churned, twisted. I felt light headed.

Off the court, Hall's new friend Polly reminds her of Janie, she gets the boy all her friends want and her relationship with best friend is changing. Clippinger's created a very likable and believable character in Hall. I really enjoyed Open Court. Ages 10up

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