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|No slam dunk|
Author: Lupica, Mike
In Annapolis, Maryland, seventh-grader Wes is a good teammate but this basketball season has been challenging because of his ball hog teammate Dinero, who is determined to steal the spotlight, and Wes's army veteran father who is suffering from PTSD.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 198619
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 75808
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/18)
School Library Journal (10/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2018 Combining contemporary issues with basketball action, this middle-grade novel will be a sure-fire hit with readers who love sports. Wes has been selected for an elite basketball team with some of the best players his age, including Dinero, another player who is at the top of the game. But Dinero plays for himself, likes to show off, and feels a bit threatened by Wes' talent. Off the court, Wes is dealing with his dad, a former Navy Seal who has returned from Afghanistan with PTSD. Lupica weaves contemporary family issues, such as mental illness and overinvolved sports parents, with action-filled basketball scenes. Detailed descriptions of basketball games every few chapters are sure to keep sports fans reading. Some of the current player references may date the book quickly, but the overall topics of teamwork and family will stay relevant. Hand this to readers of Tim Green or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Streetball Crew series. An additional purchase for collections where sports novels are popular. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 Gr 4–7—Wes Davies's father always taught him that in basketball, what mattered most was being a good teammate. However, when Wes's dad comes back from his last Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan, he isn't there to cheer Wes on as his travel team, the Annapolis Hawks, compete for a championship. As things get harder with his teammate Dinero and his father's struggles, Wes relies on basketball more than ever. Lupica's on-court descriptions are accurate and fast-paced; readers' hearts will beat to the shot clock and cheer on Wes's every move. The chapters are short and alternate between basketball and Wes's home life, making this a fast read for reluctant readers. But while he achieves gritty realism on the court, the non-sports scenes and themes are not as well executed. Lt. Davies's has PTSD and issues with alcohol abuse. Wes speaks of it often to his school counselor and mother, but never gets angry or has any negative emotions about the situation. Wes's only concern is for his father and his father's feelings. There is no reckoning or much accountability, just an acceptance of wrongdoing. Many readers will likely be left waiting for a confrontation that never comes as Wes's hero worship is taken to new extremes. VERDICT Purchase with caution where Lupica is very popular.—Kerri Williams, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.