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SLAM DUNK! by Sharon Robinson

SLAM DUNK!

By Sharon Robinson

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-439-67199-6
Publisher: Scholastic

In this sequel to Safe at Home (2006), Jumper can outshoot his basketball coach, rap a catchy song with good friends and use these skills to captivate the student body into electing him for student council. As an all-around popular guy, he looks like he has it made, except the bully who plagued him in summer camp goes to his school, the loss of his Dad is hard to bear and a girl he likes enormously is competing for student council. Relationships deepen and Jumper’s efforts and innate smarts build him up. His mother and grandmother have a strong role in shaping who he and his friends are and what they become. Realistic characters dot the slow and evenly paced plot, with the easy flow relying on conversation and thoughtful moments where heartfelt revelations expertly transition to more complexities. Each develops stronger and faster than the action despite the high-pitched play-by-play basketball games. If sports and strong character are of high interest, this is a top choice; however, if plot is the pull, it comes up short, dragging to an unearned too-predictable happy ending. A pleasant effort that warrants a third installment. (Fiction. 9-11)