In this sequel to No Name (2014), Choctaw hoopster Bobby Byington finds common ground and friendship with a rival.
Bobby’s mostly recovered from the car accident that caused his alcoholic father to kick his habit and brought his mother back home. Now all the talented basketball player wants to do is get back in the game and pursue his budding relationship with neighbor Faye, a white girl recently moved to Tulsa from North Carolina. Lloyd Blanton, the white boy who’s filled in as point guard, is ready to cede his place to Bobby, the better player—but his racist father is not. When Mr. Blanton publicly threatens Coach Robison, also Choctaw, Bobby sees an all-too-familiar alcoholic temper behind it. Together with the coach, Cherokee teammate Johnny, and his parents, Bobby works to give Lloyd the support he desperately needs. These relationships are carefully if swiftly developed, offering readers a best-practices model for caring intervention. Faye’s bullying at the hands of the school mean girl is a little less well-developed but provides Bobby with one of his best lines: “I am about to break Rule Number One for every high school student….I am about to seek the advice of an adult.” The basketball action is clear and engaging, and readers so inclined will wish they could play under Coach Robison.
A lesson in sympathy, delivered with heart. (Fiction. 12-16)