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Don’t Throw it to Mo!

Penguin Young Readers Level 2

by David A. Adler
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Mo is the youngest and smallest person on his football team. Most of the time, Mo sits on the bench with Coach Steve. In order to teach Mo how to keep ahold of a slippery ball, Coach Steve spreads butter on a football and has Mo catch it. While watching Mo, some of the players laugh at him, but Mo doesn’t give up.   

During a game, Coach Steve puts Mo into the game but tells the players, “Mo will go deep, but don’t throw to Mo.” The other team doesn’t think they need to cover Mo. One player says, “I’ll wait here. No one would throw to a small butterfingers.”  

When the coach then tells his team to throw the ball to Mo, the other team laughs. They are confident that Mo can’t catch the ball because he’s too small. But Mo does catch the ball and he runs past the goal line. Coach Steve tells Mo, “You won the game. You are the one who caught the ball.” 

Any young child who loves football will want to read Don’t Throw it to Mo! Even though Mo spends most of his time sitting on the bench, Mo has a positive attitude and keeps practicing. When Mo is finally put into a game, readers will wonder why the coach doesn’t let anyone throw to Mo. But when the coach’s plan is finally revealed, readers will cheer for Mo as he makes the winning catch. 

Don’t Throw it to Mo! is for progressive readers who are ready for longer sentences and more in-depth plot development. The story is told with one to five sentences on each page. Each page has a large, colored picture and many of the pictures show how small Mo is compared to the other boys on the team. The pictures show the football action as well as help readers follow the story’s plot. 

This Level 2 reader, about a little black boy with a big passion for sports, is the winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Sports-loving readers will love the football action, the surprise ending, and the boy who refuses to give up. For more fun sports action, pair Don’t Throw it to Mo! with Pedro’s Big Goal by Fran Manushkin. 

Sexual Content 

  • None 


  • None 

Drugs and Alcohol 

  • None


  • None 


  • None 

Spiritual Content 

  • None 
Other books by David A. Adler
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