The Basket Counts

The Basket Counts

5.0 3
by Matt Christopher, Karen Meyer Swearingen, Matthew F. Christopher, Karen Meyer Swearingen
     
 

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On-court hostility threatens Mel's place on the team Mel Jensen is new to the Titans basketball team, but he knows he could be a vital part of the starting lineup-if only two other players would give him a chance to show his stuff. But Caskie and Stoney seem bent on ignoring him, and Mel knows it's because he's black. Should Mel fight fire with fire, or should he

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Overview

On-court hostility threatens Mel's place on the team Mel Jensen is new to the Titans basketball team, but he knows he could be a vital part of the starting lineup-if only two other players would give him a chance to show his stuff. But Caskie and Stoney seem bent on ignoring him, and Mel knows it's because he's black. Should Mel fight fire with fire, or should he try to get along, if only for the sake of the team?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Christopher has satisfied the sports-hungry reader for years. In this reissue of a 1968 saga, the middle school basketball team, Titans, must master not only the court moves, but also racial harmony. Our main character, Mel Jensen, is an African American who recently moved in to town. His father is a dentist. The Jensens are one of the few non-white families in town. While the book has plenty of play-by-play action, the real tension is the racial rift between Mel and his classmate Earl Stone. Earl happens to be the Titans' other star player. While the boys are part of a bigger picture, and the racial tensions are seen elsewhere as Earl's mother refuses to use Mel's father as her dentist, most of the rest of the town is welcoming to the family. Mel starts to retaliate after Earl's performance on the court makes it clear that he has little regard for Mel. However, Mel stops himself and finally listens to his father's advice to ignore Earl. This is the turning point for Mel, who no longer measures his own worth by the words that Earl says, and a turning point for Earl, who comes to terms with his own bullying behavior. While written in 1968, the story has been updated to include modern references, and the behavior of the boys, and the whole neighborhood, is still relevant to today's basketball-hungry young readers. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316140768
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/28/1991
Series:
Matt Christopher Sports Classics Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
125
Sales rank:
367,103
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.37(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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