Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2018 Gr 3–6—Fourth grader Zayd Saleem learns about himself both on and off the basketball court in this second book in the series. Zayd's parents weren't thrilled that he snuck away from violin lessons to play basketball, and now that he's made the team, he's finding out that it's not all sweat and glory. His best friend Adam, grumpy about leading a losing team, joins the football team, and Zayd can't help but see this as a betrayal. Meanwhile, Zayd's cool uncle Jamal Mamoo is engaged, and every family member has different expectations for his Pakistani American wedding. In this tight novel that is fast-paced but never rushed, Khan deftly ties together larger themes of teamwork, friendship, and standing up for oneself in the face of family or community expectations, without distracting from the textured realities of the boy's daily life. In short chapters with accessible vocabulary, this story will appeal to grade-school readers looking for a rousing sports yarn, a touching family story, or an exploration of friendship and conflict. Some may prefer to read the first installment, Power Forward, first, but enough context is given so that this works as a standalone. VERDICT An excellent sports series for younger middle grade or reluctant readers.—Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2018 Having made the coveted Gold Team (in Power Forward, 2018), Zayd looks forward to a winning season with his best friend, Adam. Unfortunately, the basketball team starts out on a major losing streak. Adding to this is further disappointment when Adam begins acting distant and showing an interest in football instead. When Adam quits the team, the coach makes Zayd the new point guard, which places great pressure on him to lead his teammates to a victory. Meanwhile, at home, Zayd watches his young uncle begin preparations for his marriage, with the couple’s parents dictating all the decisions with little regard to their feelings. Can Zayd step up to be a leader on the court and also convince his uncle to step up and voice his opinions about his upcoming nuptials? Zayd’s exploits in this second volume again find a great balance between sports action and realistic fiction featuring the everyday life of a boy from a traditional Pakistani family. Readers will look forward to further adventures featuring Zayd. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.