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BALL DON’T LIE by Matt de la Peña

BALL DON’T LIE

By Matt de la Peña

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-73232-5
Publisher: Delacorte

Travis Reichard only answers to the name Stick. He hangs out at Lincoln Park basketball court in Los Angeles, which is practically a character in itself. It’s the only place that feels like home and where his skills give him some street cred. Shuffled from one foster home to another after his mother’s suicide, Stick fits with the rough camaraderie of the other hoopsters, even if some are homeless. Stick’s history gradually emerges as his reflections and memories surface. The rhythm of dribble, jump shot and dunk punctuates the narrative, resulting in a staccato effect that mimics a fast-paced hoops game. Suspense builds as Stick’s life unfolds with its possibilities of mayhem and disaster. Will the advice of old hoops players, homeless friends and the beautiful Anh-thu, a girlfriend both loyal and ignorant about his life, be powerful enough to overcome the horrors from the past and the complete lack of support or guidance up until now? Basketball has an urban fan base, and de la Peña does an excellent job of combining the streets with the sport. Gritty and mesmerizing. (Fiction. YA)