Cover image for Wheel wizards
Wheel wizards
Christopher, Matt, 1917-1997.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, 2000.
Physical Description:
120 pages ; 20 cm
Angry and unhappy because he is now in a wheelchair and apparently no longer able to play basketball, twelve-year-old Seth is amazed to discover wheelchair basketball and finds that his life is not over after all.
Reading Level:
610 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.3 3.0 44965.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 6 Quiz: 22269 Guided reading level: P.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Twelve-year-old Seth Pender thinks his life came to an end when he suffered a spinal injury that left him confined to a wheelchair. Seth, an athlete who loves basketball, is sure he'll never play again. He grows sullen and silent, unresponsive when his family urges him to try to adjust. Then one day he sees an older boy who, like himself, is wheelchair bound. But this boy is playing basketball! How is that possible? Over the course of three years, Seth (and the reader) learns about the sport of wheelchair basketball: the similarities and differences between it and regular basketball, the skills one needs to excel at it, and the camaraderie that grows amongst the players. By the end of the story, Seth is better adjusted to his life, and ready to reach out a hand to help others find their way.

Author Notes

Matt Christopher was born August 16, 1917 in Bath, Pennsylvania. He had a variety of odd jobs before focusing full time on writing including playing shortstop for a Class C minor-league team in Smith Falls, Ontario. He also drove trucks and sold umbrellas and worked in a theater. Christopher finally began his writing career in 1940, when he wrote a detective story that was accepted by Detective Box Magazine in 1943

His first children's book was The Lucky Baseball Bat, published in 1954, which was in print for 25 years. Christopher was the best-selling author of more than fifty sports books for young readers. He is best known for his sports novels for children as well as his many short stories and articles in numerous children's and adults' magazines. His later works include Dirt Bike Racer, The Spy on Third Base, and Skateboard Tough. Christopher wrote 78 books in all and over 250 magazine articles and short stories.

Matt Christopher dies in 1997.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-7-Filled with anger because of a car accident that confined him to a wheelchair, Seth Pender, 12, believes he can no longer play basketball. One day, he meets Danny, a teen who, like Seth, will never walk again, but Danny has always played wheelchair basketball. Seth accepts the challenge to learn to play and copes with a coach who doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that he is trying his best. At the conclusion, the boy finally realizes the coach's message that he needs to become "as independent as possible." This story (with credit in the CIP as having been written by Robert Hirschfeld) follows the usual upbeat formula using simple vocabulary that many readers have grown to love. Fans will probably ignore the few occasions where conversation doesn't quite ring true. Informational tidbits on specialized wheelchairs adapted for sports are integrated into the steadily progressing plot.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.