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Children's LiteratureAn eighth grader, living on Whidby Island near Seattle, Casey plays basketball because she loves the sport and she is good at it; but mostly she plays because her deceased mother played basketball in high school and college and Casey wants to make her mother proud of her. When Casey was five, her mom was killed in a car accident and Casey's right arm was severely injured. The man driving the other car, the one who caused the accident, was never caught. This is the story of how Casey hopes to find the driver of that other car so she can avenge her mother's death; it is also the story of Casey's success in basketball when she is asked to join a traveling team by her new African American neighbors; and finally it is the story of how Casey balances old and new friendships when Autumn moves in next door. Part mystery, part sport story, part coming of age, on the surface it may appear that Patneaude is trying to do it all. But, he is able to pull it off, developing strong, realistic characters who interact with authentic dialogue. Some coincidences help tie up the loose ends, but emotionally the reader is connected and will want to know how Casey handles the next phase in her life. 2005, Albert Whitman and Company, Ages 12 to 16.
—Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo