The right hook of Devin Velma

Jake Burt

Book - 2018

Even though he suffers from social anxiety, twelve-year-old Addison agrees to help his best friend achieve social media fame while at a nationally-televised NBA game.

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New York : Feiwel and Friends [2018]
First edition
Physical Description
234 pages ; 22 cm
A Junior Library Guild selection (JLG.)
Main Author
Jake Burt (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Addison Gerhardt knows three things to be true: the Golden State Warriors are his favorite basketball team, he struggles with anxiety when thrust into the spotlight, and his best friend is Devin Velma. When Devin's dad needs an expensive heart procedure, Addison wants to do whatever it takes to help his best friend. But as the stakes escalate, Addison is forced to confront his worst fears: publicly showing support for the Clippers . . . and public speaking. Burt's breezy sophomore novel features a fantastic male friendship and a well-developed roster of characters. At times, the inherent drama of Devin's situation eclipses that of Addison's, but the heart of the story is unwavering. This is a novel fully rooted in the experiences of today's tweens, certain that they're one social media stunt away from fame but also still struggling with timeless concerns, whether it's managing the expectations of adults or crushing on their BFF's older sister. Hand to fans of basketball and friendship stories. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Sixth-grader Addison Gerhardt suffers from anxiety, and when his best friend, Devin Velma, announces his intent to attract millions of Twitter followers by making a viral video with Addy's help, Addy is uneasy about the plan. But Devin is trying to get famous so that he can earn enough money to help pay for his father's heart surgery, which is not covered by insurance, so Addy agrees to assist. Devin's initial attempts fail; after he comes up with a scheme to appear behind a famous couple on the kiss cam at a Clippers game and nearly falls to his death, Addy saves him. The video of the incident goes viral, but it's Addy, not Devin, who rockets to fame, causing a rift between the boys. Addy's anxiety is realistically portrayed ("It was as if my brain ripped in half"), as are both families' financial concerns. Spot-on sixth-grade humor and sympathetic characters by Burt (Greetings from Witness Protection!) will hook readers as he explores fame and friendship in the age of social media. Ages 10–14. Agent: Rebecca Stead, the Book Group. (Oct.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Even though he suffers from social anxiety, twelve-year-old Addison agrees to help his best friend achieve social media fame while at a nationally-televised NBA game.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From the author of Greetings from Witness Protection! comes another unforgettable middle-grade novel about friendship and family.Devin wants to hit it big on the internet by pulling a stunt at an NBA game—one the entire nation will be watching. Addison can’t turn Devin down, but he can barely manage talking to his teachers without freezing up. How’s he supposed to handle the possibility of being a viral sensation?Addi’s not sure why Devin is bent on pulling off this almost-impossible feat. Maybe it has something to do with Devin’s dad’s hospital bills. Maybe it all goes back to the Double-Barreled Monkey Bar Backflip of Doom. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. No matter what, though, it’s risky for both of them, and when the big day finally comes, Devin’s plan threatens more than just their friendship.With memorable protagonists and a wonderful supporting cast, The Right Hook of Devin Velma is a one-of-kind knockout in middle-grade fiction.