Dragon Hoops

by Gene Luen Yang

Part memoir, part history, and part riveting sports story, Yang opens his humorous... read more

Part memoir, part history, and part riveting sports story, Yang opens his humorous graphic novel with a confession: He’s always hated sports. He’s classed himself as a nerd since childhood and even as a high school teacher hangs out with other nerds. In fact, it seems all the teachers hang out with kindred spirit groups from their own teen years. But he’s drawn to cross the divide by the power of story in 2015, when he begins hearing about the school basketball team’s current season. Seeking out the coach, he discovers they have a lot in common. Yang moves back and forth between chronicling the rest of the season—he becomes an avid follower and fan—and the lives of African American Coach Lou Richie, Richie’s former coach and mentor, Mike Phelps, and key players on the Bishop O’Dowd varsity team, the Dragons. As he relates pivotal moments that spurred each person forward, he weaves a narrative offering great depth in terms of story, plot, and characters, integrating historical context—about basketball, about society—throughout an account that is also an action-packed sports story. Yang also displays the creative side of what he’s doing as a writer and an artist, openly grappling with ethical decisions about who to include and how much to tell—or not to tell—in this fascinating, funny, and ultimately triumphant book. (Ages 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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