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4.4 21
by Walter Dean Myers

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Drew Lawson knows basketball is taking him places. It has to, because his grades certainly aren't. But lately his plan has run squarely into a pick. Coach's new offense has made another player a star, and Drew won't let anyone disrespect his game. Just as his team makes the playoffs, Drew must come up with something big to save his fading college prospects. It's


Drew Lawson knows basketball is taking him places. It has to, because his grades certainly aren't. But lately his plan has run squarely into a pick. Coach's new offense has made another player a star, and Drew won't let anyone disrespect his game. Just as his team makes the playoffs, Drew must come up with something big to save his fading college prospects. It's all up to Drew to find out just how deep his game really is.

Editorial Reviews

Leonard S. Marcus
At the center of this lean first-person narrative is Drew, an athletically gifted African-American teenager with plummy visions of a college scholarship and N.B.A. superstardom…The tautly choreographed game sequences that punctuate Drew's story bristle with the electricity of the sport while serving to track the hero's transformation from dicey wild card to on-point team player. Off court, the action is equally telling.
—The New York Times
High school senior Drew Lawson loves the game of basketball. He realizes that basketball is his ticket to college and possibly a future in the NBA. The game also shields Drew from the negative and sometimes dangerous influences that he sees all around him on the streets of Harlem. Drew must keep his cool during his senior year, however, when Coach Hauser begins to favor Tomas, a white player from Prague. Drew and Tomas develop an interesting dynamic of friendship and rivalry as the team progresses toward the state regional championship. In the end, Drew is able to showcase his skills and fulfill his dream of earning a scholarship to an excellent basketball school. This novel does not cover any new territory, and Drew is an unexciting protagonist. The threats to Drew's future never fully materialize, and Coach Hauser's motives for favoring Tomas are never made clear. The stories of secondary characters, such as Tomas and Drew's sister, Jocelyn, seem worth telling. There is little tension as the novel limps toward its predictable conclusion. On the positive side, it is a quick read, and reluctant readers might be willing to pick it up. Myers is definitely adept at writing about the game action, and sports fans will appreciate this aspect of the book. Purchase where the author's better efforts have been popular and where sports fiction that is heavy on game action is in demand. Reviewer: David Goodale
Harlem High School senior Drew, a star on his basketball team, dreams of playing college ball for a Division I college and making it to the NBA. His tough talk masks insecurity, however: "I was fronting strong, but I knew that ball wasn't a done deal." When Tomas, a new boy from Prague, joins the team, Drew feels threatened. He needs to learn to become a team player, and he has the example of his friend Tony, currently out on bail, to remind him of the importance of making the right decisions. Drew has to learn to trust others, too, and his experiences on the court play out against his study in English class of Othello, and Othello's relationship with Iago. Myers, author of Monster and many other books for YAs, clearly knows basketball, and he nails the court action. The dialog and slang ring true, too, as do Drew's seesawing emotions. A great choice for sports fans. Age Range: Ages 12 to 18. REVIEWER: Paula Rohrlick (Vol. 42, No. 1).
Children's Literature - Nicole Peterson
Drew Lawson is a pretty good basketball player on his high school team in Harlem. So good, in fact, that he hopes to go to college on a basketball scholarship. Drew has a lot on his mind with school, basketball, and a friend who is in jail. This book gives a realistic view of a high school senior from Harlem who wants to make it, but does not have the grades to go to college without a basketball scholarship. The realism includes having a friend's brother who is in jail, talking about people on the streets who are selling stolen goods, working with homeless people, immigration, and attitudes facing youth living in Harlem. The vernacular is true to form, with Ebonics used throughout the book. This book could be inspirational to someone in similar circumstances. For those who do not have comparable experiences, this will give insight of the circumstances of others. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- In this story of a teen who dreams of making it big in the NBA, Myers returns to the theme that has dominated much of his serious fiction: How can young black urban males negotiate the often-harsh landscape of their lives to establish a sense of identity and self-worth? Drew Lawson is a very good high school player who is staking his future on the wildly improbable chance that he will achieve professional stardom. He is not an outstanding student, and he feels that basketball is the only thing that lifts him above the ranks of the ordinary. As he surveys his Harlem neighborhood, he worries that if he does not succeed in sports, he will become like so many other young men he sees around him who continue to talk tough, but have stopped believing in themselves, and are betrayed by "the weakness in their eyes." Harlem itself is a looming presence in the novel: vibrant, exciting, dirty, dangerous, it is the only home that Drew has ever known and to a large extent it both defines and limits his outlook. Being no more or less insightful or articulate (or self-absorbed) than most 17-year-olds, he fails to connect with those adults who have overcome racism, bad luck, and their own missteps to find alternative ways to succeed. As always, Myers eschews easy answers, and readers are left with the question of whether or not Drew is prepared to deal with the challenges that life will inevitably hand him.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Drew Lawson is a basketball player in Harlem with "big-money dreams." He's not about gangs or running the streets, just ball, and he hopes he has more to him than those lost to the streets, enough to carry him to a Division I university and on to the NBA. He just has to live up to his ability. But always, just below the surface, is Drew's awareness of the stoops and street corners where people fall behind on their games and lose interest in the score. Drew has a strong family, including a smart, pretty, sassy sister to keep him focused. Drew knows who he is, and he's intent on not blowing his chances. The author's knowledge of basketball shows in the expertly realized game sequences. There's plenty of basketball here, but, as in any good sports novel, more is going on than the sport; life is the game, and this is a sensitive portrait of a likable young man, his family, city and dreams. A good match with Myers's Monster (1999) and Slam (1996). (Fiction. 11+)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Game RB/SB

Chapter One

"Yo, Drew, here's the story!" Jocelyn called me from the living room.

She and Mom were already sitting on the couch across from the television. Pops came out of the bathroom in his undershirt and started to say something, but Mom held her hand up.

"Wait a minute, honey," she said. "They're talking about that stickup on 126th Street."

Pops looked at me. There was a commercial on the television.

"It's coming up next," Jocelyn said.

A moment later a woman's face filled the screen.

What's happening with the youth of America? Well, if you're talking about the young people in our inner cities, the picture is far from pretty. Today two high school boys were involved in a vicious robbery and shoot-out in New York's Harlem community.

The image on the screen switched to a picture of the police stretching yellow tape across the sidewalk in front of a discount store.

At one thirty this afternoon, two boys, boys who should have been in school, attempted to hold up this store on 126th Street and Lenox Avenue. As they made their way from the store and down the busy street, they encountered an off-duty policeman, who immediately sensed what was going on. The two youths shot at the policeman, who returned fire. The result: a badly frightened and wounded clerk in the store, a sixteen-year-old in police custody, and a seventeen-year-old fatally wounded.

The country's educational mantra these days is "No Child Left Behind."

Tragically, this is yet another example of the growing number of children left behind on the cold streets of New York.

InLebanon, negotiators have reached a tentative agreement . . .

Jocelyn switched channels.

"They didn't even give their names," Mom said.

"That's because they weren't eighteen yet," Pops said. "You can read about it in the papers tomorrow."

"It just tears me up to see young people wasting their lives like that," Mom said. "Every time you pick up the newspaper, every time you switch on the television, it's more of our young men either killed or going to jail. Lord have mercy! There just doesn't seem to be an end to it. Now there's a young man with all his life in front of him, and I know his parents wanted the best for him. Lying out on the sidewalk. It just . . . oh, Lord have mercy!"

Mom's voice was cracking, and I wondered why Jocelyn even had the story on. She knew how it upset Mom. She had always worried about me and Jocelyn, but then when my man Ruffy's brother was arrested right after Christmas, she got really messed around.

"I still think you children should finish school down south." Mom was on her feet. She had the towel in her hand she had been using to dry the dishes. "It's just safer down there."

Pops started in about how it wasn't any safer in Savannah, which is where my grandmother lived, than it was in Harlem. I went back to my room, and Jocelyn followed me in and plunked herself down on the end of my bed.

"Why don't you go to your own room, girl?"

"Why don't you let me borrow your cell until I get mine fixed?"


"Drew, you ain't got nobody to call. Let me use your phone."

"Those guys must have been on crack or something," I said. "Pulling a stickup in the middle of the day."

"So when do you pull your stickups?"

"Jocelyn, shut up and get off my bed."

"How long you think Mom is going to be upset?" she asked, not budging from the bed.

I took my sneakers off and threw them near her. "Yo, even when Mom's not acting worried, she's upset," I said. "I only got the rest of the year to go at Baldwin. You're the one she's going to send down south."

"I was thinking that maybe I should just go to Hollywood and start my career," Jocelyn said.

"I thought you were going to go to Harvard first."

"I could commute back and forth."

"And you could get off my bed so I can get some rest."

Jocelyn got up, picked up one of my sneakers, sniffed it, and then staggered out of the room.

The only time our neighborhood made the news was when something bad went down, and the talk in school was about the shooting and who knew the guy who had been killed. It was a hot subject in the morning but had cooled down by lunchtime. A helicopter had gone down in Afghanistan, and that made the front page of the newspaper. The main inside story was about some girl singer getting a divorce and accusing her husband of fooling around with her sister. That was good, because I knew Mom would be looking for news about the shooting. Everything that went down wrong in the neighborhood upset her. I could dig where she was coming from. There had been a time, a few years ago, when the shootings and all the drug stuff were just background noise. You heard about it happening, but unless some kid my age or Jocelyn's age was hit by a stray bullet, it didn't seem that real. But when I reached fifteen, it was boys my age being shot. Mom was always warning me to be careful and stay away from gangs. That's what she understood most...the gangs.

She knew I wasn't about gangs. I was about ball. Ball made me different than guys who ended up on the sidewalk framed by some yellow tape.

"Basketball is wonderful, Son," Mom would say. "And I'm sure glad you're playing sports instead of running the streets."

She would let it go at that, but I knew she had listened to people talking about how hard it was to make it in basketball. I knew that, too. But I also knew that even if I didn't make it . . .

Game RB/SB. Copyright © by Walter Myers. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers was the New York Times bestselling author of Monster, the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award; a former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature; and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree. Myers received every single major award in the field of children's literature. He was the author of two Newbery Honor Books and six Coretta Scott King Awardees. He was the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, a three-time National Book Award Finalist, as well as the first-ever recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Game 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Lorezno_Marino_Mayfair More than 1 year ago
The protagonist, Drew Lawson who is African American, lives in the streets and neighborhoods of Harlem New York City. The book I read before this one, “Slam” was very similar. It was all about basketball. Drew isn’t involved with the troubles of gangs and drugs that are all over his neighborhood. He just focuses on basketball; he has goals of becoming a star in the NBA. That’s why he tries to be the number one player on his team. The problem with Drew in the book is that he can’t cooperate with his coach. He sometimes disagrees with him. He wants to play his way and doesn’t want to be coached. This book is a fiction type of book. Its theme in my opinion is about believing in your coach, and trusting each other. Throughout the chapters, there was always an argument or a disagreement between Drew and his coach. The new member in the team who’s from the Czech Republic is the new star player. Drew notices that the coach was training with him more often and giving him the ball all the time. He wants to overcome this new player and try his best to go to college and get to a Division I team. And probably later on be a ball player for the NBA. I really love the way the author uses the sport basketball in the story and puts it in a way that it relates to Drew’s life. Especially how he shows a great knowledge in the sport, he made the games that Drew and his team played against other teams very suspenseful. But not only that, he displayed Drew’s thoughts about the games and related them to the reality in life of the choices you make. And because of this, it really made me keep turning the pages because you couldn’t tell what would happen next and it tempted me to keep on going. Drew later on realizes of his ability to be a team player rather than a star player. He was thinking of himself too much and not about the team. He is an amazing basketball player but he didn’t play up to his full potential by learning from his mistakes from disobeying his coach. And because of this, he gave the crowd a game worth really shouting for. The scores were really close and it made the gym shake. As for the ending, you will have to find out for yourself. There were events in the book that related into my life about a pupil and his coach. But I really do recommend this book to everyone. Even if you’re not really into sports, it’s a really great book that can teach you something new about life, it really did for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GAME The book game is the best book ever! One reason for that is because most books do not start out with action, the book “GAME” does!! My second reason for “GAME” being fantastic is everything in this book could happen in real life! The colleges that Drew and his teammates get offers from, REAL colleges. I’m not a big reader, but when my friend recommended it and I started reading it, it was good!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Game by Walter Dean Myers is a story about this senior at a high school in Harlem that play basketball for the school. He is outstanding basketball skills he has a chance at get a division I scholarship. He has a lot on his mind with school, basketball, and his friend that is in jail. This new guys named Thomas comes from Prague, and Drew feels threatened. As he does a survey around the neighborhood of Harlem and he notices that a abundances of people had the talent he had but made bad decisions and didn't make it, and then he starts to be more cautious but what he does. I rates this book 5 starts and I recommend this book to people that are in love with basketball.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most horrible book ever
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hell yes this is a good book i love this is the book i love
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Means04 More than 1 year ago
If you love the game, read The Game, by Walter Dean Meyers. An excellent book will not just tell you about basketball it will talk about life. I really connected with the author because the way he made Drew's life it was very similar to mind. Drew never stopped loving the game so that made me not stop loving the game. This book can teach a lot of people. How to live while playing basketball. The main theme of this book is to live life to the fullest. You only get one life, so Drew did all he could to play ball. This book is an easy read but still a serious one. The Game is an excellent book to show young boys how life is in the real world. The Game can be being funny at times but also serious. I say it's serious because how Drew's life is how people treat him. I would recommend this book to any person that play basketball. It shows how you have to be good on the court and off the court. Your social and school life effects on the court. So what ever you do always handle your business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Drew Lawson lives and breathes basketball. He plans to use basketball as his ticket out of Harlem, and everyone knows it. The problems start when Coach "House" Hauser changes the game plan.

The Lawson family is a bit unusual for their neighborhood. Drew is lucky to have both a mom and dad living under the same roof, and although money is a struggle, both parents work. He and his sister have been raised to value life and set high goals. News from their neighborhood only makes the paper when it is bad news. Shootings, stabbings, and robberies are the usual stories, and Drew's mother frets when those stories involve young people.

The Chargers basketball team could offer Drew a chance at a better life. He is a decent player and has his sights set on playing Division I college ball in hopes of being a future NBA player. As a star Chargers' player, it just might be possible. Unfortunately, it seems that Coach House has other plans.

It is mid-season and suddenly Coach House has brought in two new players - a couple of white players. That doesn't bother Drew and his team too much until it becomes evident that Coach plans to start these new players in positions that clearly threaten Drew's game. What is Coach trying to do? Is there a method to his madness or is Drew's future at stake?

GAME is set in Walter Dean Myers' home territory in Harlem, and is filled with his trademark characters and plenty of action. Readers hear Drew's story in between bouts of realistic play-by-play basketball scenes. Myers fans as well as basketball lovers will find this a satisfying read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney
Abrams Books
Realistic Fiction

Hey you! Yeah you! Come over here and read this! It's about a gut busting book, meaning you'll bust your gut from laughing so hard. Jeff Kinney brought us a hilarious book called Diary of a Wimpy Kid. A boy named Greg Heffley wrote in a journal his mom bought for him. This book is the journal and is all about his experience in seventh grade. Greg Heffley goes through lots of fazes, meaning he loves to try a bunch of different things. His best friend's name is Rowley. They hang out eighty-five percent of the book. Greg and Rowley go through too much together. Like one time, there's this thing called the ¿cheese touch.¿ It's a piece of rotten cheese Greg put on a basketball court beside the school years ago. Whoever touches it has to try and touch someone else and give them the ¿cheese touch.¿ A bunch of teenagers were chasing Greg and Rowley on Halloween and they made Rowley eat the cheese! There are many more things that happen to them.
The characters in this book all have a different personality. Greg Heffley is adventurous because he likes to try different things, wimpy because he's not very strong at all, lazy because he's obsessed with video games, and funny because everything bad happens to him. Greg is important to this book because he's the main character and the whole book revolves around him. His older brother, Rodrick Heffley, is mean because he picks on Greg, he's annoying because he's not good at the drums and plays them in the garage with his awful band, he's lazy because he likes to lay around, and he's rude because he has no manners. Rodrick Heffley is important to this book because he's the main character's older brother. Greg Heffley's best friend, Rowley, is adventurous because he travels around the world every summer and school vacation, he's wimpy because he's not strong and can't take any pain at all, he's immature because he likes toddler toys, and he's just always happy. Rowley is important to this book because he's a main character himself and he's the main character, Greg's, best friend.
I love this book. I highly recommend this book to children of all ages with a sense of humor. I liked this book because of all the funny events, the whole book was funny, it wasn't hard to concentrate on because it was nice and simple (and funny!!), and it was hard to put down. Oh! By the way, before you start reading this book, call an ambulance or the paramedics so they're ready to replace your gut.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Authors like Walter Dean Meyers inspire you in everything he writes. This book is about a high schooler named Drew Lawson who plays on his schools basketball team.But in the middle of the season 2 strange white players join the team, will they take take his spot or just warm the bench. Read this great book to find out the teams ups and downs and highs and lows in this roller coaster of a book 'Game'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book but i lose the setting sometimes
DALGRA123 More than 1 year ago
Dallas Grant Ms. Lasley Literature October 17, 2010 Book Review The book, Game, by Walter Dean Myers is about a teenager named Drew who knows how to play basketball. Drew and his family watch the news about a killing of 16 and 17 year-old boys trying to rob a store in the New York Harlem Community. Drew starts to think about entering into the NBA (National Basketball Association) and how his high school basketball career is taking off, but he wants to finish off strong in his high school year. The playoffs starts when Drew finds out that the coach gets a new offense and that another player becomes the star player on the team. Drew is a bench warmer, but he won't let anyone disrespect his game so he starts to play hard in the playoff games. The game is so close that Thomas Franklin K. Lane Team plays defense on Drew pretty strong as time is running out. His pastor comes to his house with the coach from DePaul University, and they give Drew a scholarship. Drew is so happy to fulfill his dream as a basketball player in college.