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BOOKS: 'Rivals' comes to Creekside

Nearly three years ago, local author Tim Green came on the scene with his first kids book, "Football Genius."

In the three years since, he's produced four more books for kids. The most recent, "Rivals," hit shelves in March.

A continuation of characters Green developed in his novel, "Baseball Great," the story follows 12-year-old Josh to Cooperstown and a national championship tournament, a tourney just one step below the Little League World Series.

Covering the tournament for her school newspaper is Jaden, 12, an up and coming reporter who became fast friends with Josh.

Josh and his team face their archrivals -- the LA Comets from California whose hot player is Mickey Mullen Jr., son of the famous Mickey Mullen.

"As the tournament proceeds, Josh thinks that the LA Comets team is getting some special treatment by the umpires," Green explained. "When he finally convinces Jaden to look into it, they find out something is going on."

With the discovery of "undue influence" on the outcome of the games, Green said there's a classic chase scene at the end with a lot of suspense and danger.

"My hit with these books is to have the sports element with them but really try to do what I do with my suspense novels for grown ups -- a lot of action that's compelling and makes you want to turn the pages," he said.

Green wanted the story to be big and choosing to make the tournament the biggest one outside of the Little League World Series helped him achieve that. But placing it at Cooperstown was a bigger aspect of and truly influenced the story.

"It's the Mecca of baseball and it's right here in our back yard," Green said.

The book is written for young readers between ages 10 and 14, but often times younger readers will pick up his books as well, some as young as 8, and also those children who will have their parents read the book to them.

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