Cover image for Boys in control
Boys in control
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
143 pages ; 22 cm
Once again the Hatford brothers and the Malloy sisters find themselves pitted against each other when embarrassing pictures of the boys turn up in the girls' basement, and the boys try to figure out how to get them back.
Reading Level:
830 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 4.0 74690.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.2 8 Quiz: 37181 Guided reading level: S.

Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Eden Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Lake Shore Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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Play ball! That's what the sixth-grade Buckman Badgers baseball team plans on doing. Eddie Malloy and Jake Hatford hope to lead their team to the championship game the last Saturday in May. But due to a mix-up, Mrs. Hatford has to run a yard sale for the Women's Auxiliary of the Buckman Fire Department the very same day in their very own yard! Not wanting to miss out on the game, the family elects the only nonbaseball fan in the family, Wally, to stay home and help watch over the sale tables until they return. Wally's ticked off. On top of that, Caroline Malloy has written and will perform a play for a school project and has roped Wally into costarring with her. Let Caroline think she's so smart. Wally has his own reason for being in the play. It looks like the Hatfords could be totally humiliated after the girls stumble upon an embarrassing item from the boys' past. Leave it to Wally's secret plan to turn the tables on the girls' scheme and prove who's really in control! Boys rule! From the Hardcover edition.

Author Notes

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana on January 4, 1933. She received a bachelor's degree from American University in 1963. Her first children's book, The Galloping Goat and Other Stories, was published in 1965. She has written more than 135 children and young adult books including Witch's Sister, The Witch Returns, The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel, A String of Chances, The Keeper, Walker's Crossing, Bernie Magruder and the Bats in the Belfry, Please Do Feed the Bears, and The Agony of Alice, which was the first book in the Alice series. She has received several awards including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Night Cry and the Newberry Award for Shiloh.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. The Hatford brothers and the Malloy sisters, who have battled their way through several previous books, are at odds once again. The girls get the upper hand this time after discovering embarrassing pictures of the boys. It's left to the boys to retrieve the pictures before being totally humiliated. Wally devises a successful scheme to turn the tables, proving to the sisters that boys rule . . . at least for now. Reynolds adds some mild intrigue with a subplot in which the boys devise a scheme to get out of helping at Mrs. Hartford's yard sale. Like the other books in this series, Naylor crafts a briskly paced story with a plot full of laughs and pranks. Series fans will be pleased with this lighthearted escapade; readers unfamiliar with the series will enjoy it, too. --Ed Sullivan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The ninth book about the Hatford boys and the Malloy girls, Boys in Control by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, finds Eddie Malloy and Jake Hatford gearing up for a championship baseball game on the same day that Mrs. Hatford is slated to run a yard sale. Meanwhile, the Malloy girls find some embarrassing photos from the boys' past, but Wally Hatford finds a way to regain the upper hand. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-In the ninth of this series, the Hatford boys and the Malloy girls spend more time cooperating than fighting. Eddie and Jake both play for the Buckman Badgers in the sixth-grade baseball championship; after she chokes in the first game, he decides to practice with her for the good of the team. Meanwhile the community yard sale Mrs. Hatford has volunteered to host falls on the same day as their playoff game. She enlists a reluctant Wally to take over until she returns, and Caroline sees helping him as an opportunity to talk him into acting with her in a play she's writing for their fourth-grade English class. When the girls find a photo album full of humiliating pictures of the boys, Caroline blackmails Wally to keep his word about being the husband in her play. A subplot about two relatives of Amelia Bloomer trying to steal a framed picture from Wally's house before the sale opens provides suspense but strains credulity. It turns out the frame hides her original bloomers. Still, this is a fast-paced read, and fans of the series will welcome it. It should also interest baseball fans, especially girls, since there is plenty of action on the field.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



One Stuck Wally Hatford took two baseball cards from his dresser--Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez--and stuck them in a jacket pocket. Jake had given them to him a month before just because he had duplicates, but Wally was going to trade them at school for a magic trick--a box that took a quarter and turned it into a fifty-cent piece. When he got downstairs and hung his jacket over a chair, he found his mother moving about the kitchen and talking to herself in a state of great agitation. "I must have been clear out of my mind!" she said, lifting the teakettle off the stove and plunking it right back down again. "I don't know what in the world possessed me to say yes last year, when I had no idea what I'd be doing a year from then." When Mrs. Hatford talked like this, Wally and his older brothers knew to lie low. Even their father knew that as long as breakfast was on the table, it was better to sit down and butter a biscuit than to ask what she was talking about. But Peter, who was in second grade, hadn't learned that yet. He licked the grape jelly off his fingers and asked, "What did you say yes to?" Everyone else at the table gave him a silent shake of the head. When Mrs. Hatford started talking, it was sometimes hard to get her to stop, and the boys would be lucky to make it to school on time. But it was too late. "The Women's Auxiliary of the Buckman Fire Department's Treats and Treasures yard sale," she said, and immediately sank down in her chair at the end of the table and rested her chin in her hands. "Now, that's a mouthful," Mr. Hatford said, hiding a smile behind his mug as he finished the last of his coffee. "Did you promise to clean out our attic and look for things to give to the sale?" "I promised to run the sale!" Mrs. Hatford moaned. "At the firehouse?" "Right here in our yard! Right out there on the driveway! Right up on our front porch!" Mrs. Hatford cried. Now all the Hatfords were staring. "Well, Ellen, that shouldn't be so hard," said her husband. "I'm sure the boys will help, and I'll do what I can." "No, you won't, because the sale happens to be the last Saturday in May, and you know what that is!" Wally tried to think, and then he remembered. That would be the day of the final game in the district elementary school baseball championships. And Jake, his brother, was on the Buckman Badgers. "If the Badgers make it that far, you know we'll all want to be there rooting for Jake!" Mrs. Hatford said in distress. "I'm certainly going to be taking half days off from work each Saturday in May that he's playing." Now it was a family emergency! Wally saw Jake's eyes open wide. Even Josh, Jake's twin, looked startled that his mother might have to be anywhere else on that fateful day. Jake had wanted to play for the Buckman Badgers ever since he was six years old. This was the year, and May was the month, and the twenty-ninth was the day of the championship game. But it just so happened, Mrs. Hatford continued, that in the window of every store in town there was a poster about the Treats or Treasures yard sale, which would be held from noon till four on May twenty-ninth at the home of Tom and Ellen Hatford on College Avenue, rain or shine. So there was no getting out of it. On that particular day, she would need to take a whole day off from her job at the hardware store, but how could she be in two places at once? There was silence around the kitchen table as sausage gravy congealed on plates and biscuits grew cold. "Well, after all the practice I've put in pitching balls to Jake for the last five years, I've got to be at that game," said Mr. Hatford. "If I have to take four vacation days off for baseball, that's okay with me. We hadn't planned on going anywhere this summer." "He's my twin brother! I'm going to be there!" said Josh. "I've been watching Jake practice ever since I was born!" Peter declared. "I'm going to go sit in the very first row and I'll yell the loudest of all." "Well, I'm Jake's mother!" Mrs. Hatford said. "How could I not be at the championship game when my very own son is one of the pitchers? At least, we hope the Badgers will be playing that game." Jake scraped up some sausage gravy with his fork and put it in his mouth, looking very smug and important. Wally knew what was coming. He knew it before the first word was spoken. He had felt that something was up the moment he'd stepped into the kitchen that morning, in fact. He wondered if he'd sensed it even before he got out of bed. And now the whole family had turned their heads and were looking down the table at him. "No," said Wally. "Now, Wally," said his father. "There are times when every member of a family has to stand up and be counted." "You can count me, but I don't want to do it," said Wally. "There are times you have to make sacrifices for the good of the family," said his mother. "And you have to admit that baseball isn't your favorite thing." Wally didn't see that this made any difference. Maybe he did think baseball was sort of boring, and maybe he did like to lie back in the bleachers and study the clouds instead of watching the team practice. But did that mean he wanted to stand out on the driveway surrounded by old lamps and curtain rods and picnic hampers, arguing about prices and missing the game? The game that was going to decide the sixth-grade champion of the district? Excerpted from Boys in Control by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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