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Dear Group,

My original request was I have a student who is interested in novels
about basketball. I know a
couple, but she wants more.  She seems perfectly happy reading about
boys, so the gender of the protagonist is unimportant.  All suggestions
welcome.  The first of four responses follows.  Thanks to all who


Favorite basketball novels here include:
Slam, Walter Dean Myers
Players, Joyce Sweeny
On the Devil's Court, Carl Deuker
Night Hoops, Carl Deuker
Danger Zone, David Klass
Playing without the ball, Rich Wallace
Tears of the tiger, Sharon Draper

On the Devils Court by Deuker and Missing the Piano by Rapp were both
books my basketball player son enjoyed.  If she likes Deuker, you might
also try Heart of a Champion, which my son said was the best book he
read in middle school.  It's a baseball book.

Night Hoops,  by Carl Deuker, he has other's about baseball too. It's
geared towards middle school and high school, you did not mention the
age of the student. Deuker also wrote another basket ball book, come to
think of it called, On the Devil's Court, about a boy who might have
sold his soul to the devil in exchange for some basketball skills. Books
I have not read but were recommended at a conference for YA lit by Paul
Gallo are:  Playing Without the Ball, by Rich Wallace (high),  Girls Got
Game: Sports Stories and Poems, edited by Sue Macy (M/H), The Basket
Counts,  by Arnold Adoff (m/H)

Moves make the man

One on One - Tabitha King
Playing the Game - Alan Lelchuk
Winning the City - Theodore Weesner

You didn't mention the girl's age, but one of the all-time best
recommendations for a 8th-11th grader would be Chris Crutcher's, Chinese
Handcuffs. The main character is a boy who opts to be the manager for
the girl's basketball team rather than play for his own varsity team
because he
respects the girl's coach more than the boy's. He falls in love with the
girl's best player, who has a deep dark secret, and together he and the
coach try to solve the mystery.
A boys favorite in the 8th & 9th grade is Carl Deuker's, On Devil's
Court. The main character here makes a deal with the Devil to be a great
basketball player and he begins to have supernatural abilities on the

Playing without the ball by Rich Wallace
Players by Joyce Sweeney
Blue Star Rapture by Bennett
Night Hoops by Deuker
Slam by Walter Dean Myers

You might try "Night Hoops" by Carl Deuker. I read it about a month ago
and couldn't put it down. The two main characters are boys who struggle
with playing the game, facing race issues, peer pressure, home lives,
and expectations. But most of all- they face their self-doubts and
"limits" of friendship.  Although family and friendship issues are
present, this book really focuses upon the game itself- play by play

i know there's one set in rural Illinois, called something like "Squared
Circle" -- sorry, can't even remember the author.

However,  look for a new book called "Counting Coup" (a native American
GIRL getting out of the tribal poverty rut on her basketball skills --
true story.  Also look for "Four Corners" (c1999?) on college
basketball:  4 teams:  UNC, Duke,..

Joanne Shawhan
Library Media Specialist
Cobleskill-Richmondville High School
Cobleskill NY 12043
(518)234-3565 x1151, 1152
(518) 234-9006 (fax)

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