An easy-to-read sports book that taps into basketball as both a means of connecting characters and a platform for...

READ REVIEW

NO SLAM DUNK

Can you be a leader and a teammate on the court and off?

Wes Davies should be playing the best basketball of his life; he is a small forward on the elite Annapolis Hawks seventh-grade team, and his former nemesis, flashy point guard Dinero, is now his teammate. But victories on the court can’t make up for troubles at home. Wes’s father, Lt. Michael Davies, has returned from a final Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan with injuries that are both physical and emotional. No longer his son’s mentor and hero, Lt. Davies has moved out of the family home to combat the elusive enemy that is PTSD, relying on alcohol rather than his wife and son for support. Wes is convinced that if he can be a basketball standout, his father will again be the man he was. Meanwhile, Dinero has issues of his own, with a hypercompetitive father who aggressively stage-manages his son’s career. Short chapters that leave readers intrigued will capture basketball fans who love exciting play-by-play and who appreciate references to the stars of today. Lupica handles complex issues of scarred veterans, fathers and sons, and the difference between competition and battle with ease, making the familiar story of the redemptive power of sports feel new. Wes is white, and Dinero is cued Latinx; naming conventions point to a diverse team overall.

An easy-to-read sports book that taps into basketball as both a means of connecting characters and a platform for problem-solving. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-51485-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Finalist

GHOST

From the Track series , Vol. 1

Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw feels like he’s been running ever since his dad pulled that gun on him and his mom—and used it.

His dad’s been in jail three years now, but Ghost still feels the trauma, which is probably at the root of the many “altercations” he gets into at middle school. When he inserts himself into a practice for a local elite track team, the Defenders, he’s fast enough that the hard-as-nails coach decides to put him on the team. Ghost is surprised to find himself caring enough about being on the team that he curbs his behavior to avoid “altercations.” But Ma doesn’t have money to spare on things like fancy running shoes, so Ghost shoplifts a pair that make his feet feel impossibly light—and his conscience correspondingly heavy. Ghost’s narration is candid and colloquial, reminiscent of such original voices as Bud Caldwell and Joey Pigza; his level of self-understanding is both believably childlike and disarming in its perception. He is self-focused enough that secondary characters initially feel one-dimensional, Coach in particular, but as he gets to know them better, so do readers, in a way that unfolds naturally and pleasingly. His three fellow “newbies” on the Defenders await their turns to star in subsequent series outings. Characters are black by default; those few white people in Ghost’s world are described as such.

An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5015-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DRAMA

From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

more