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Written by Callie Labrador
Victory For The Underdog
At least three references are made in the book to classic underdog stories, the fictional "Bad News Bears" and the real-life basketball underdog Hoosiers. Danny is an underdog in both life and sports; he is the underdog in school where he is surrounded by kids with both parents in the home, who wear the latest NBA player-endorsed sneakers, whilst he lives with his mom and has holes in his sneakers because she cannot afford to replace them. Being the underdog at basketball is a new concept for Danny who has always been the favorite due to his prodigious talents; his short stature turns him into an underdog as his team of travel-team rejects is constantly losing. However, it is impossible not to root for Danny's Warriors, who despite losing a coach and having children step into the role,still fight hard to outplay their opponents. When they win, and make the tournament finals, it is a classic underdog tale that makes the reader feels hat the correct people won in the end.
Although Danny accepts the status quo he already realizes that his life has been changed because of his parents' divorce, and although he rarely voices a wish for them to get back together, he occasionally hints that this would make him very happy; having enjoyed his father spending Christmas with them he hints to his mother that he would like his dad to stay that night, and it is clear that seeing them getting aking together brings him joy and hope. Danny seems to be aware of what might have been different if they had been able to stay together, whilst also being aware that the divorce was primarily his father's fault. It is also apparent that he has far greater awareness of adult moods, behavior and vocal intonation than his friends whose parents are still married.
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