February 7, 2019

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Ball Don't Lie

By: Matt de la Pena
Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8
Sticky is a beat-around-the-head foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, and an outer shell so tough that no one will take him in. He started out life so far behind the pack that the finish line seems nearly unreachable. He's a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn't seem to belong. But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out . . . if he can only realize that he doesn't have to be the person everyone else expects him to be. Matt de la Pe̱a's breakout urban masterpiece, Ball Don't Lie takes place where the street and the court meet and where a boy can be anything if he puts his mind to it. —from the website at Penguin Random House
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Dreadlock Man, with his fierce fists and suspect jump shot, sets his stuff ($1.45 sandals, key to bike lock, extra T-shirt) on the bleachers and holds his hands out for the ball.
  • Ball Don't Lie
    Matt de la Pena

    Ball Don't Lie

    By: Matt de la Pena
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

    Sticky is a beat-around-the-head foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, and an outer shell so tough that no one will take him in. He started out life so far behind the pack that the finish line seems nearly unreachable. He's a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn't seem to belong. But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out . . . if he can only realize that he doesn't have to be the person everyone else expects him to be. Matt de la Pe̱a's breakout urban masterpiece, Ball Don't Lie takes place where the street and the court meet and where a boy can be anything if he puts his mind to it. —from the website at Penguin Random House

    Where to Find

    Score a physical copy of the book.

  • All American Boys
    Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

    All American Boys

    By: Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10

    A bag of chips. That's all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad's pleadings that he's stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad's resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad's every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement? There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad's classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad's best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.   Coretta Scott King Honor Book 2016.  —from the website of Simon & Schuster

    Where to Find

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  • Hoops
    Walter Dean Myers

    Hoops

    By: Walter Dean Myers
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10

    All eyes are on seventeen-year-old Lonnie Jackson while he practices with his team for a city-wide basketball Tournament of Champions. His coach, Cal, knows Lonnie has what it takes to be a pro basketball player, but warns him about giving in to the pressure. Cal knows because he, too, once had the chance—but sold out. As the tournament nears, Lonnie learns that some heavy bettors want Cal to keep him on the bench so that the team will lose the championship. As the last seconds of the game tick away, Lonnie and Cal must make a decision. Are they willing to blow the chance of a lifetime? —from the website at Penguin Random House

    Where to Find

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  • On The Devil's Court
    Carl Deuker

    On The Devil's Court

    By: Carl Deuker
    Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

    What would you give to be your school's superstar? After reading Dr. Faustus, Joe considers the merits of selling his soul to the devil. Suddenly, he finds himself changing from a lousy basketball player and a C student to the star athlete he always dreamed he could be. Even though he isn't sure if he actually made a deal with the devil, he can't help but enjoy the benefits that come with his newfound abilities. But is achieving his dreams worth what he may have given up? In this coming of age sports novel, Joe learns the power of belief and that the only goals worth attaining are the ones that you earn -- on your own. --From the website at Hachette Book Group

    Where to Find

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