Author Archives: jeff

Behind the Plate by Chris Kreie

Jake Maddox books

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Behind the Plate by Chris Kreie
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Illustrations by Sean Tiffany

These best-selling sports stories are a hit with boys and girls alike! Pumped-up, easy-to-read stories with an emphasis on speed, skill, and fair play. The boys and girls in these books face obstacles on the gridiron, the court, the ice, or the half-pipe, and meet mental and social challenges as well. Readers discover that an athlete’s inner game, persistence, and courage are just as important as a steady hand or a chance for a goal.

I feel extremely privileged to be one of the ghost writers who authors the Jake Maddox books. Growing up playing all kinds of sports from basketball to cross-country to tennis, these books have been a blast to write!


Praise for Jake Maddox books

“I have such an incredibly diverse group of students speaking 35 languages, from 47 countries, and totaling 882. You would be shocked at the wide diversity of students who are reading these titles. Students casually picked up a title and sauntered off to read. Before their classes left, they raced up to check out the books.” – Diane Chen, School Library Journal blog

“These sport-themed novels provide a lot of bang for your buck and are perfect for reluctant readers.” – School Library Journal

“I recommend that every library have the Jake Maddox books for their boy readers. The boys that come to my library can’t get enough of this series and eagerly grab at any new ones that come in.” – Puget Sound Council

Order Jake Maddox books
Capstone Kids

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Tennis Trouble - Jake Maddox series

Tennis Trouble

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Tennis Trouble - Jake Maddox series
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Illustrations by Tuesday Mourning

Alexis is only 13, but she made the varsity tennis team. She’s thrilled, but not everyone is happy for her — two of the older girls think Alexis ruined the season for their friend, who didn’t make the team. The older girls are out to make Alexis’s season terrible. Can she keep up her self-confidence and step up to the net, or will she let the girls get to her and lose everything?

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Wild Hike - Jake Maddox series

Wild Hike

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Wild Hike - Jake Maddox series
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Illustrations by Sean Tiffany

Nick has always loved camping, but his cousins, Andy and Devin, are not outdoors guys. Nick isn’t even sure why his cousins wanted to go on the camping trip. They don’t listen to his warnings about campfires and bears, and they make fun of everything Nick does. When Devin finds himself in real danger, can Nick save him in time?

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LOST - A Tale of Survival by Chris Kreie

Lost: A Tale of Survival

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LOST - A Tale of Survival by Chris Kreie
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Illustrations by Marcus Smith

Every summer, Eric and his dad head to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. This year, Eric brought his friend Cris, and the boys want to explore the wilderness on their own. When they set out in their canoe, Cris and Eric promise to return before dark. But shortly into the trip, the river turns violent and Cris is injured. Now, Eric must race against time to find the camp and save his friend.

What are readers saying about Lost?

Lost was one of the best books I’ve ever read. The pictures were awesome and the book made me feel like I was in the forest or in a canoe. If you’re looking for a good book, get the book Lost!”
– Zach, Eden Prairie, MN

“If you came in to my room while I was reading the book Lost and asked me question, I would not answer. I would keep on reading because the book was so good! I really liked the pictures. I liked the enthusiasm of how the author wrote the book. I liked how it was easy to read.”
– Jake, Minnetonka, MN

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There are no Figure Eights in Hockey - Sports Illustrated Kids series

There Are No Figure Eights in Hockey

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There are no Figure Eights in Hockey - Sports Illustrated Kids series
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Illustrations by Jorge Santillan

Josh has already won a gold medal in figure skating, so he is looking for a new challenge. He decides that hockey is a good fit for his super skating ability. But when he gets out on the hockey rink, he soon realizes changing sports won’t be as easy as he thought. After all, there are no figure eights in hockey.

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Battle for Home Plate - Sports Illustrated Kids series

Battle for Home Plate

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Battle for Home Plate - Sports Illustrated Kids series
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Illustrations by Jesus Aburto

Justin and Carlos have played on the same baseball team since their T-ball days. But this season, the friends are forced to play on rival teams. Carlos makes new friends on the field, and Justin is left in the dust. When their teams face each other in the final game of the season, Justin and Carlos aren’t even speaking. The game comes down to one run, and Carlos rounds third. What will happen when the former best friends collide at home plate?


 

Praise for the Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels

“I gave this stack of books from Capstone and Sports Illustrated Kids to my own children and they went nuts! They too aren’t into sports, but these aren’t books for jocks. These are extreme sports and the focus is really on the characters and story. The sports hobbies are really just a backdrop. They’re fun and interesting and not at all geared just towards jocky kids.” – Book Legion

Order Battle for Home Plate
Barnes and Noble
Stone Arch Books

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Shot Clock Slam - Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels series

Shot Clock Slam

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Shot Clock Slam - Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels series
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Illustrations by Jesus Aburto

Perry the Playmaker has always been the Tigers’ go-to guy — until super-tall and ultra-talented Jason joins the team. Feeding the ball to Jason in the post is a guaranteed two points, but Perry refuses to play nice. Instead, he hogs the ball and takes bad shots, ruining the team’s rhythm. Will Perry’s selfishness spoil the Tigers’ run at the state championship, or will the two talented teens team up to slam dunk the competition?


 

Praise for the Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels

“We wanted to feature this series and bring them to your attention, whether you’re a librarian, teacher or a parent, these titles should be in your possession!” – Book Legion

Order Shot Clock Slam
Barnes and Noble
Stone Arch Books

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Pitcher Pressure

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Pitcher Pressure - Jake Maddox series
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Illustrations by Sean Tiffany

Allen’s grandpa has never missed a baseball game until tonight. While Allen plays his most important game ever, Grandpa fights for his life at the hospital. Allen wants to win the game for his grandpa, but he’s facing his biggest challenge, Hank “The Tank” Steele.

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Race Car Rival - Jake Maddox on the Speedway

Race Car Rival

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Race Car Rival - Jake Maddox on the Speedway
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Illustrations by Sean Tiffany

Shawn is so lucky. He gets to be a junior team member on Johnny Pride’s stock car team. But when he arrives at the racetrack in Talladega, it turns out there’s been a mistake – Shawn will be helping Johnny’s biggest competition, “Mean” Gene Pederson. Shawn is disappointed. How can he help his hero’s rival?

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Tennis Liar - Jake Maddox series

Tennis Liar

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Tennis Liar - Jake Maddox series
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Illustrations by Sean Tiffany

When his friend Max asks him to join a tennis league, Henry can’t say no. It’s expensive, so Max’s dad pays Henry’s way. Henry can’t tell his dad, or he’ll have to give up tennis for good. Is being able to play the game he loves worth hiding the truth?

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