Basketball (or Something Like It)
  • Basketball (or Something Like It)
  • Basketball (or Something Like It)

Basketball (or Something Like It)

4.0 9
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
     
 

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Basketball clinics, a revolving door of coaches, incensed parents, and the importance of the right sneakers—is that what the game is about? Told from the perspective of four unlikely friends, Nora Raleigh Baskin's poignant novel focuses on the action, drama, and fun of playing ball and explores what it takes to be a winner of the game—both on the court

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Overview

Basketball clinics, a revolving door of coaches, incensed parents, and the importance of the right sneakers—is that what the game is about? Told from the perspective of four unlikely friends, Nora Raleigh Baskin's poignant novel focuses on the action, drama, and fun of playing ball and explores what it takes to be a winner of the game—both on the court and off.

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Takes on everything from overequipped, overtrained grade schoolers to parent coaches who promote their own kids while benching the talent.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Takes on everything from overequipped, overtrained grade schoolers to parent coaches who promote their own kids while benching the talent."
Booklist
“This is a surefire hit—a sports book with a larger focus, told in an original way.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Takes on everything from overequipped, overtrained grade schoolers to parent coaches who promote their own kids while benching the talent.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Takes on everything from overequipped, overtrained grade schoolers to parent coaches who promote their own kids while benching the talent.”
Publishers Weekly
Anyone who has experienced the pressures of being a part of a traveling sports team can identify with the characters in this contemporary novel set in an affluent community. Here, Baskin (What Every Girl [Except Me] Knows) spotlights three members (and the little sister of a fourth) of the not-so-successful North Bridge Panthers, a sixth-grade travel basketball team, who express their worries and hopes both on and off the court in alternating third-person narratives. Some team members, like Hank, play ball mostly to please their parents. Others, like Jeremy (who lives with his grandmother after being abandoned by his father) and Nathan (whose uncle turned to drugs after playing pro ball) set out to prove something to themselves by joining the team. Then there's Anabel, a gifted basketball player herself, who sits in the bleachers and offers readers a wider perspective through her observations of some rather nasty exchanges among players, refs, coaches and parents. Enduring a series of humiliating losses, a string of coaches who quit or are fired, and irate mothers and fathers, the North Bridge team gets little opportunity to improve their skills, but they do learn something about friendship, trust and loyalty during the course of the season. Without coming off as heavy-handed, this highly accessible novel takes a hard, honest look at society's obsession with sports and its effect on young athletes. The author's gentle criticism of elitist leagues, coaching ethics and overzealous parents will leave a lasting impression on readers. Ages 9-12. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Many young basketball players will relate to this story about parents living vicariously through their children's athletic endeavors. In alternating chapters, four sixth graders tell their own stories about how sports affects their lives. Hank is made miserable by the pressure and expectations placed on him by his parents. Nathan desperately wants to play and lies in order to try out for the team because his father's agenda doesn't include sports. Annabel is brushed aside by her father, whose focus is on her brother and his playing time. Jeremy, the best player on the team, has been dumped at his grandmother's by his father's girlfriend. The day these four find themselves in detention together, where they learn about one another's situations, is the turning point of the novel. In the final game of the season, Jeremy's plan to run away is thwarted by a true gesture of friendship from Hank. Hank's parents make an unrealistic turnabout, admiring their son's plot to sit the bench so Jeremy can play. Nathan and his family reconcile their differences about sports, and Annabel becomes the star of the girl's high school basketball team. Even though the plot is predictable, the author's point comes through loud and clear.-Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sixth-graders Hank, Nathan, Jeremy, and Anabel form a lasting friendship over the course of the North Bridge Sixth Grade Travel Basketball season, the setting for this school sports story. Perhaps it is the distance of the third-person narrative that keeps each of these characters from coming alive, or perhaps it is their stock situations: Hank's parents live for their son's sports success; Nathan isn't any good; Jeremy is a star, but unhappy in his new home with his grandmother; and Anabel's family ignores her talents in favor of her brother's. The influence of adults on pre-teen athletics is as much the subject as basketball itself. Although believable, the message takes over, to the detriment of plot and character development. The framing news article helps flesh out Anabel's story, but the last chapter, explaining what happened right up into their senior year, seems tacked on. Readers might want more about the games, but those who play on sports teams will recognize these characters and be rooting for them. (Fiction 10-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060596125
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/30/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
442,812
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile:
570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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