Review: Athlete vs Mathlete by W.C. Mack

athlete vs mathlete by w.c. mack

Owen Evans lights up the scoreboards. His brother, Russell, rocks the school boards. These twin brothers couldn’t be more different. They’ve long kept the peace by going their separate ways, but all that is about to change. The new basketball coach recruits Russell for the seventh grade team and a jealous Owen has to fight to stay in the game. When someone tries to steal Russell’s spot as captain of the mathlete team, will the two be able to put aside their differences in order to save his position? Or will they be sidelined?

Perfect for fans of Matt Christopher and Andrew Clements alike, this is a lighthearted and hilarious look at what happens when brains meets brawn meets basketball.

Description taken from Goodreads.


As someone who has a sibling who is almost exactly opposite of me in terms of where our talents lie, I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was really accurate, if a little overplayed and stereotypical at times. Those things felt off, but they had their own moments, and I loved the way that Mack used the relationship of the brothers. I related to this story a lot, and was rooting for both brothers from the very beginning.

ATHLETE VS MATHLETE isn’t just about a rivalry between two siblings. It could’ve been like THE LEMONADE WAR or some already-done plot, but I enjoyed the way that Mack talked about different topics of identity, trying new things, growing up and family relations/rivalries. I came to really care about the characters as genuine people, not just non-realistic characters, and that’s becoming rarer and rarer in today’s middle-grade lit.

Overall, it was fun to read about this book, and it’ll be perfect for middle-grade boys looking for contemporary. Granted, it doesn’t have as much action as many other middle-grade and YA reads, but it’s one of the quieter reads that I’m sure plenty of middle-grade boys will enjoy. Can’t wait to read the next book in this series! 4 stars.

pg count for the paperback: 208

Series: Athlete vs. Mathlete #1

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