At 16, Stan Claxton doesn't think very highly of himself. He's done a few things of which he's definitely not proud, and his only skill seems to be coaching his ""runts,"" a bunch of impoverished kids who meet at a dilapidated rec center for tennis. Then he's offered another job, this time coaching Ginny, a nationally ranked junior player who's fallen into a potentially career-ending slump. Together they prepare her for a local tournament that could be her fresh start, if only Stan can restore her confidence and drive to win. Ginny helps Stan to face some hard truths about himself, too. If this sounds like just another romance with a sports setting, it's not. It's something of a love story, in which two really likable and interesting characters share a profound friendship that transcends infatuation and leads them to a better understanding of themselves and each other. Along with a shining cast of secondary characters, the novel is crammed with laugh-out-loud humor and dialogue that fairly crackles. The book may be most reminiscent of Chris Crutcher's early, edgy work--no faint praise--but it has a unique feature that is surely all Powell's own: whistling toilets.