September 11, 2019

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

Long before there was race and even before there was politics, there were Saturday mornings in the playground.
Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs
Ronald Koertge

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs

By: Ronald Koertge
Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

Fourteen-year-old Kevin Boland has a passion for playing baseball, a knack for writing poetry -- and a cute girlfriend named Mira who's not much interested in either. But then, Kevin doesn't exactly share Mira's newfound fervor for all things green. So when Kevin signs up for open mike night at Bungalow Books and meets Amy, a girl who knows a sonnet from a sestina and can match his emails verse for verse, things start to get sticky. Should he stay with Mira? Or risk spoiling his friendship with Amy by asking her out? Ron Koertge, master of snappy dialogue and a deft poet, offers a fast-paced, sympathetic story that interweaves two narrative voices with humor and warmth. -- From Candlewick Press

Where to Find

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The View From Saturday
E.L. Konigsburg

The View From Saturday

By: E.L. Konigsburg
Recommended for grade(s): 5

HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? t was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski's team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan's grandmother and Nadia's grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. Newbery Medal Winner. —from the website of Simon & Schuster

Where to Find

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Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete
William CX. Rhoden

Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete

By: William CX. Rhoden
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, says New York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built. Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden reveals that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason. The power black athletes have today is as limited as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often the athletes’ own making. --From the website at Penguin Random House

Where to Find

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Hoop Dreams: The True Story of Hardship and Triumph
Ben Jorvasky

Hoop Dreams: The True Story of Hardship and Triumph

By: Ben Jorvasky
Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

For nearly five years Arthur Agee's and William Gates' remarkable lives were chronicled by a team of filmmakers. Roughly 250 hours of film were devoted to their journeys from the playgrounds to high school competition to college recruitment and -- whittled down to three hours -- it became the award-winning film Hoop Dreams. Now journalist Ben Joravsky vividly brings to light all the richness and subtlety of their stories, and the impact their aspirations had on themselves, their families and their relationships. It is an intimate look, complete with an up-to-date epilogue on the latest developments in their lives. -- From the website at HarperCollins

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.