HOW I FELL IN LOVE AND LEARNED TO SHOOT FREE THROWS by Jon Ripslinger

HOW I FELL IN LOVE AND LEARNED TO SHOOT FREE THROWS

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Danny Henderson faces many obstacles on the road to winning the aloof Angel McPherson, a.k.a. the Stone Angel. First is the rumor that she is a lesbian. Next is a father whose advice to Danny about women is “stay away.” Undeterred, Danny asks Angel, whose skill at basketball far exceeds Danny’s, to help him with his free throw. Angel’s response to Danny seems clearly to indicate that the rumor is false, yet her initial interest turns to rejection as she pushes Danny away and becomes more solitary than ever. As it turns out, she and Danny have more in common than basketball: each harbors a secret so shameful that neither has ever revealed it to another soul. Angel is hiding the fact that her mother is gay and that her father is an anonymous sperm donor. Danny has never revealed to anyone that rather than dying of cancer, his mother perished with her lover in a motorcycle accident. One can’t help admiring Danny’s commitment to his heart’s desire in the face of heavy opposition. Ripslinger, showing potential, perhaps takes on too many issues. Angel’s mother’s lesbianism receives sensitive treatment, but Danny’s mother’s infidelity get less attention and feel somehow gratuitous. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7613-1892-5
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003