April 29, 2021

Think you know books?

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

Ten years before Air Jordans, I learned to fly. It's like the way brothers pimp-walk to a basketball hoop with a pumped-up ball and throw a few shots, hitting each one effortlessly. Like a car idling before a drag race, there is an invitation, perhaps even a threat, in the way their sneakers soft-shoe the pavement and the ball rolls around in their hands.
Mama's Girl
Veronica Chambers

Mama's Girl

By: Veronica Chambers
Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, Veronica Chambers mastered the whirling helixes of a double-dutch jump rope with the same finesse she brought to her schoolwork, her often troubled family life, and the demands of being overachieving and underprivileged. Her mother—a Panamanian immigrant—was too often overwhelmed by the task of raising Veronica and her difficult younger brother on her meager secretary's salary to applaud her daughter's achievements. From an early age, Veronica understood that the best she could do for her mother was to be a perfect child—to rewrite her Christmas wish lists to her mother's budget, to look after her brother, to get by on her own. Though her mother seemed to bear out the adage that "black women raise their daughters and mother their sons," Veronica never stopped trying to do more, do better, do it all. And now, as a successful young woman who's achieved more than her mother dared hope for her, she looks back on their mother-daughter bond. The critically acclaimed Mama's Girl is a moving, startlingly honest memoir, in which Chambers shares some important truths about what we all really want from our mothers—and what we can give in return.

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map
Sue Macy

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map

By: Sue Macy
Recommended for grade(s): 3, 4

A dynamic picture book about the birth of women's college basketball.  --From Holiday 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

Score a physical copy of the book.

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence
Deloris Jordan

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence

By: Deloris Jordan
Recommended for grade(s): 3

It’s never too soon to dream big—or to take action! Pursue excellence with this inspiring picture book from the mother of star basketball player Michael Jordan. Before Michael Jordan was a record-breaking athlete, he was a young boy who dreamed of playing basketball for the United States Olympic team. His mother tells him, “Dreaming is for dreams. If you want to play, you better get busy.” So what did Michael do? He got busy! Discover how Michael made his wish into a reality—Olympic gold medal included—in this motivational picture book for sports fans, go-getters, and anyone with big dreams! --From the website at Simon & Schuster

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.