Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PICK-UP GAME by Marc Aronson Kirkus Star


A Full Day of Full Court

edited by Marc Aronson & Charles R. Smith Jr.

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 9780-7636-4562-5
Publisher: Candlewick

Gladiators meet at the Cage, a fenced-in basketball court at West 4th in Manhattan, one of the legendary sites of playground ball. Sportswriter Rick Telander titled his classic basketball story Heaven Is a Playground, and that’s certainly the description of the Cage, where ballers come “wearing attitude like / baggy shorts,” and high-flying slams, rainbows and double dunks offer aerial thrills as good as fireworks. Here are the players, the mentors, the used-to-bes and the wannabes, the scouts, the filmmakers, the ghosts and the legends. Some of the best contemporary writers for teens—Walter Dean Myers, Robert Lipsyte, Rita Williams-Garcia, Joseph Bruchac and others—contribute to this novel in linked short stories, in which the players weave their way through one day at the Cage, and Charles R. Smith ties the volume together with rap poems celebrating the place, the people and the throbbing energy of the game—as Walt Whitman might have had he been a baller. Superb stories by writers who know and love the game; an ode to the show. (Linked short stories. 14 & up)