by Walter Dean Myers

With basketball his ticket to college, Drew Lawson is more than a little frustrated... read more

With basketball his ticket to college, Drew Lawson is more than a little frustrated when the new kid on his high school team, who hails from Prague of all places, begins to garner favoritism from the coach—at least that’s how Drew sees it. Drew only has to look on the street corners of his neighborhood to see examples of people who are out of the game. Maybe their dreams died; maybe they were just beaten by the challenges of life. He doesn’t want to be one of them, but his future depends on a college basketball scholarship, which in turn depends on his showing his best stuff during his final high school season—if the coach will let him. Walter Dean Myers’s narrative is so firmly grounded in Drew’s point of view that readers get incensed on Drew’s behalf, and only gradually realize, right along with him, that the coach is considering Drew’s best interests together with those of the team as a whole. The swift-paced basketball action will be a big draw for many readers in a book that also illuminates racial politics, family dynamics (especially between Drew and his lively sister), and male teen relationships—including Drew’s friendship with buddies on and off the team and his initially tense interactions with Tomas, the Czech player, that ultimately approach something like friendship. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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