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Author: Ostler, Scott
Orphaned thirteen year-old Carlos learns what it truly means to be a teammate when he must help save his new wheelchair basketball team's gym from destruction.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 506389
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/19)
School Library Journal (10/01/19)
Booklist (+) (09/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2019 *Starred Review* Thirteen-year-old Carlos lost almost everything in a car accident: his parents, the use of his legs, even his status as a basketball star. Now, his loving aunt wants him to try wheelchair basketball. Carlos is reluctant, because he doesn’t consider the game a real sport, and, besides, he sucks. It takes time, but thanks to a wise coach, Carlos improves, learning new strategies and becoming part of his co-ed team. Then comes bad news: the city is going to demolish their beat-up old gym, leaving the kids with no home court. Carlos does a school project on the history of the gym, and inconsistencies begin to pile up. With the help of concerned adults and new friends, Carlos uncovers a conspiracy involving the mayor and a building contractor (who happens to be the father of the school bully). The multi-tiered plot moves quickly, the characters are engaging, and wheelchair basketball is an unusual premise, but the real draw in this debut novel from sportswriter Ostler is the vivid descriptions of basketball action. Of equal interest to kids of all ages, this strikes just the right notes about teamwork, friendship, and acceptance. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 Gr 3–7—At Carlos Cooper's old school, he was a basketball star known as Cooper the Hooper. He has been living with his aunt and uncle for the past year, ever since his parents were killed in a car accident that left him paraplegic. Carlos is grateful for their care, but it is very hard to start a new school and especially hard being the new kid in a wheelchair. And the school bully seems to take special delight in taunting him. When Carlos's aunt asks him to take a look at a wheelchair basketball league, he isn't enthused but gives it a shot. The team is welcoming and supportive, and he likes the coach, who also uses a wheelchair. Just as Carlos is settling into this new game, the run-down gym that has been home to the team is shut down by the city. Without the gym, the team's hopes for a state championship are dashed. There's something fishy about the city's move to condemn the building, so Carlos and his teammates do a little investigating on their own. Carlos is a likable, earnest, if preternaturally mature narrator. His transition from able-bodied star to wheelchair athlete is engaging. The issue of his grief is dealt with too quickly, and a side plot involving Coach's health remains underdeveloped. The political machinations behind the closing of the gym and Carlos and the team's investigation veer into "after-school special" territory. VERDICT Enjoyable despite its few flaws. Perfect for middle grade fans of Mike Lupica.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.