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HOOP KINGS by Jr. Smith


by Jr. Smith

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-1423-8
Publisher: Candlewick

Another of Smith’s poetic tributes to hoops and the star athletes of the game and a companion to his earlier Hoop Queens. Readers of previous collections will get more of what they expect in this collection of 12 poems, each dedicated to a different player who is currently well-known and at the top of his game. This would include Kobe Bryant, whose career on the court is currently being overshadowed by events in a courtroom, but pure fans won’t mind. They may, however, object to the changes of the colors of uniform, for example the Lakers purple and yellow is now red and black or the chartreuse green on the page for Timberwolf Kevin Garnett. Surprisingly dominant player Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t seem to get a true poem, but a double-page spread that showcases his actual shoe size. Smith does add a page for himself and some insight into his thoughts about the players leading to his poems. A solid jump shot, but no slam-dunk. (Poetry. 8-14)