Hoops [NOOK Book]


An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

New Bonus Content:
-Q&A with Walter Dean Myers
-Q&A with screenwriter John Ballard
-Teaser chapter from On a Clear...

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An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

New Bonus Content:
-Q&A with Walter Dean Myers
-Q&A with screenwriter John Ballard
-Teaser chapter from On a Clear Day
-Excerpt from 145th Street

All eyes are on seventeen-year-old Lonnie Jackson while he practices with his team for a city-wide basketball Tournament of Champions. His coach, Cal, knows Lonnie has what it takes to be a pro basketball player, but warns him about giving in to the pressure. Cal knows because he, too, once had the chance—but sold out.

As the tournament nears, Lonnie learns that some heavy bettors want Cal to keep him on the bench so that the team will lose the championship. As the last seconds of the game tick away, Lonnie and Cal must make a decision. Are they willing to blow the chance of a lifetime?

A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.

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What People Are Saying

Earl Monroe
"Hoops, to me, captures growing up on the streets of Harlem. Basketball is presented not as a sure way out of the ghetto, but as one way for kids to get in touch with the confidence needed to deal with their everyday realities... It is rare to find a story that takes the time to honestly and sensitively explore black men, women, and kids." -- Earl "The Pearly" Monroe, former captain, The New York Knicks
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553512120
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/29/2014
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 123,620
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Walter Dean Myers’s fiction and nonfiction books have reached millions of young people. A prolific author of more than one hundred titles, he received every major award in the field of children’s literature. He wrote two Newbery Honor Books, eleven Coretta Scott King Award winners, three National Book Award finalists, and the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. He also received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and was the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was a 2010 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award numerous times. From 2012 to 2013, he served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature with the platform “Reading is not optional.” In his most-beloved books, Walter explored the themes of taking responsibility for your life and that everyone always gets a second chance.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 68 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2009

    Hoops By Walter Dean Myers

    Walter Dean Myers
    Lonnie Jackson is a seventeen-year old boy from Harlem, New York with basketball on his mind. The major theme of this book is "If you really wanted it, Go out and get it". When you get more into the book Lonnie grows out of his kid age and is getting ready to turn into a grown man, making his own decisions. Lonnie is a strong character that is waiting on his opportunities to make it the NBA. The only thing holding him back is the pressure between basketball and life. Cal, Lonnie's basketball coach once had a chance to be in the NBA but he got tied up in betting on the games he was playing. Cal really wants Lonnie to make further than he did in the basketball game. So he is showing him the right and wrong things to do in life and in basketball. The major conflict of the book is how Lonnie will make it to the good life of the NBA. Will he make it or not? This book has a lot of good basketball talk and does a really good job of describing the surroundings in the city of Harlem.
    Understand what's going on in this book is fairly easy. Just pay attention to the book and understand what's going on and it'll keep you on the edge of your seat. Since the book was written in first person it doesn't really change the perspective of the book. Hoops could have been written in any other point of view and still wouldn't be able to change the excitement of the book. The way that Walter Dean Myers shows intensity of the basketball games in this book is just like all his other books, exciting and it'll keep you on the edge of you seat. Walter Dean Myers likes to show all the excitement at once then slows it down and bring the excitement back up to the highest point.
    The things that Walter Dean Myers did that I liked was how he keep me wondering what's going to happen in the next chapter and wondering if the book was a little different if the ending would've been the same. Lonnie doesn't really know what he is going to get himself into and since Cal was a basketball player and threw all his skills away then Cal can be there for Lonnie so he doesn't make that mistake like he did. That shows how much of a supporting character Cal is to Lonnie.
    Hoops by Walter Dean Myers was a really good book and I would recommend it to all teens boys that like sports and also girls but not to all girls. I give this book a thumbs up but I give Walter Dean Myers two thumbs up for doing his best at writing books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011


    Walter Dean Myers has made tons of novels of inner city life. One of those books that became a novel was called "Hoops". I picked this book from the beginning is because I love the game of basketball and the biggest reason is because Walter Dean Myers made it. I recommend this book to a person who is interested in hoops, friends and family, and inner city drama. The narrator is Lonnie Jackson, who is very relaxed in a certain way. He plays basketball out on the streets all day and night with his friends. He meets a guy named Carl, Carl used to play in the NBA until he was kicked out for a terrible mistake he did when he was playing basketball a long time ago. Carl turns out to be Lonnie Jackson and Lonnie's friends coach for the tournament about to be held in the FedEx Forum. In the tournament the best team and players on that team will be recruited to have a free full basketball scholarship and that is what Lonnie Jackson is going for. This book is amazing; Walter Dean Myers can drag you into that book like you are in it. The best part is when Lonnie Jackson is playing basketball because that is all of the best action in the book is. I would encourage other people to read not only this book but many other that Walter Dean Myers has made. I really don't think the book made Walter Dean Myers great, I think Walter Dean Myers made the book great.

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  • Posted November 14, 2010


    This was my first book by Walter Dean Myers and I really liked it. This is a must read, especially for kids and the only difficulty I had was reading some slang phrases that didn't make sense to me. Don't let that discourage you though, TRUST ME IT'S WORTH IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    What an amazing Book

    This book in my own words should be read by children and even adults everywhere. This book is about a young man named Lonnie who is African American, 17, and who lives in Harlem,Newyork. He has such a great passion for basketball; and one day as he is practicing his shooting, he realizes a man lying on the court as if that were his property. Lonnie kicked him and tried to drag him out the park...The man started singing, "Your Feets Too Big" by Ada Benson and Fred Fisher. Lonnie was already confused, so he grabbed the man by the collar and tried to push him out the court when the man suddenly pulled out a knife. Lonnie had to back off because he was nervous the man was going to hurt him. The book continues but if you want to find out more about this wonderful book read it because it will make you think, get excited, make you cry, but excited all over agian. Enjoy your day(s)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2008


    Lonnie Jackson is a young man from Harlem. Basketball is a big part of his life and he always stands up for what he believes in. During this book the main character grows up and learns to act more like a man than a kid. Along with the subplots and characters, the dialect is authentic to the mid 70s. Young adults will enjoy this book because they can relate to some of the things Lonnie goes through. Walter Dean Myers showed his background when writing this book. The vocabulary at some times can be hard to understand because of the Ebonics he uses, but overall the vocabulary is fairly good. The story stays intense it doesn¿t get as dull and there are many surprises. The character s is mostly serious but they have their own personality and the blend together well. The setting is in Harlem and the people and places seem authentic. This book favors the teenage crowd but if adults need a recreation book this can certainly be that. Children that don¿t have over a 7th grade reading level should not read this book because of the dialect and mild violence. All-in-all, this is a book I hope many read and enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2008

    Good read

    This was a nice book. I had to read it and it wasn't so bad. it was actually kind of interesting and funny at times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    a good baskteball player

    I gave the book a four because i play basketball and it interested me but not enough for a five. Also the book is pretty good and i like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008


    I enjoy reading and I am VERY athletic. I wan to go to UT and play in the WNBA, so i thought, oh gee look a basketball book. I didn¿t like this story because of many reasons. The author wrote it in first person, which grew to be very irritating and distracting. The beginning was really slow, but I thought it might get better. It didn¿t. Even though I play basketball half of the story didn¿t even make sense. You can try readin it, but I dind't like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    A struggle on and off the Court

    Lonnie Jackson is a middle aged teenager living in Harlem, New York. His living conditions aren¿t all that great. His one thing he really loves is basketball. He stumbles upon Cal ¿spider¿ Jones at the park court one night. Cal gets involved with Lonnie¿s basketball and throughout the book Lonnie keeps learning new things about Cal¿s past. The two of them become pretty tight and Cal starts coaching a team with Lonnie on it. He gets them into a big tournament and the story really takes off from there. This book has a lot of good basketball talk and does a really good job of describing the surroundings in the city. As the book goes on you keep learning new interesting details and in the end I love how they all come together to form this story. The book is not part of a series and I think mainly boys would enjoy this book because there¿s a lot of basketball and a lot of things that boys are more interested in than girls.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    The title of the book is HOOPS and the main character is Cal he is the basketball coach. They had a pretty decent season. They had a awesome team that had tons of potential. The best team member on the team played the coach and he almost won. But when they were playing each other they were running swiftly down the court and then the kid got ahead on the coach by about a foot a foot-and-a-half and then the coach went up for a jumper and the team member packed the coach. This book reminds me of my sixth grade year and I was point guard for the best team in the league and we were playing the second best team in the league and there was 5 secs. left in the 4th quarter and Hunter Daniel was at half court and I saw him about to shoot so I ran up to him and all of a sudden I jumped up and packed the ball and it came back and hit him in the face.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is great for people as young as 12 and also great for aduklts as well. It is a great written book and it keeps the reader interested in the entire book all the way through. This is a short and intermidiate skill level. But it has soome bad language in it . So it is to recomended for peopl eunder the age og 12.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    I think this book has a good plot to it. I think it could be put together better but overall it's pretty good. Its about a boy who wants to make it in basketball but has some challenges he has to overcome first. I think this is a pretty good book but im not going to recomend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Hoops by Walter Dean Myers is a fascinating book. It is about a seventeen year old boy named Lonnie Jackson. Lonnie lives in Harlem and plays for the Harlem Globetrotters. He faces many problems thought the book including drugs, gang violence, and most importantly racism. These three problems are the reasons that are preventing him from reaching his dream, which is to be a professional basketball player and hopefully play in the NBA 'National Basketball Association'. His coach Cal thinks he has what it takes to play professionally. ¿You got a nice game, but like he said, you got to be something with it.¿ His team is competing in a city-wide tournament of champions. As the championship nears Lonnie hears Cal talking about throwing the game and loosing over a $2,000 gamble. The question is, is Cal going to blow the game or not? Read the book to find out what happens. There are several characters in the book including, Lonnie Jackson the main character, Cal Jones who is the coach of the basketball team, Ox who is on the basketball team with Lonnie, Marry-Ann who is the girl Lonnie likes, Tyrone who owns the racquet shop and kills Cal with a knife, Paul which is Lonnie¿s best friend, Mr. Jackson who is the father of Lonnie, Jimmy Harrison who is the manager of the ¿Grant,¿ Freddie who is Pauls brother, Lenny and Joni who are the faggots in the neighborhood, Aggie Cals girlfriend, Juno who helps Tyrone fight Cal, and Lastly O¿Donnell who is the NBA scout for Lonnie. The themes of this book are growing up/maturing, coping with lose, and surviving when it gets tough. There is one symbol that I found in the book which is a basketball and it symbolizes Lonnies love for the game. The ideal audience for Hoops is 12 and up, because there is some profanity, slang, and a lot of violence which is not good for little kids to read. My personal reflection towards this book is that I think it is a book that once you start reading it then you will never put it down until you are done with it because of how much action it has in it. It is also a great learning experience. This book is also great because it is a fictional story which means it is full of real life events that you can relate to. I also think this book is suspenseful, thrilling, educational, and lastly age appropriate for the most part. I highly encourage anybody to read this book because it was one of the best books I have ever read in my entire 15 years of living on earth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2007

    This book is.......

    I am a basketball player myself and i can relate to this story.Ireally enjoyed this book and its the first chapter book i read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2007


    This book was great. Especially, because i love basketball and i can relate to most of the things in here. I recommend this book to really anyone over the age of 12.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2007

    The Last Shot

    All eyes were on Lonnie Jackson, the seventeen year old raising basketball star. Lonnie has a dream that one day he¿ll play for the NBA. Basketball is the only way out for him and there¿s this tournament called ¿Tournament of Champions¿ ad there will be scouts from different colleges . His coach, Cal, knows that Lonnie can make its to the NBA if he doesn¿t give in to the pressure. Cal knows because he too once had the chance but let it slip. Lonnie begins to stop believing in himself because he doesn¿t have his parents full support. But his best friend and teammate Paul kept pushing Lonnie until he understands he as talent and can get him out the streets. Paul then gets into trouble with some deals and owed money to his boss. Lonnie and Cal were having problems because Lonnie thinks Cal is pushing him too hard. The story reaches its climax when Lonnie and Paul sneak into a mobs office to get money to pay off Paul¿s debits with his boss while they were getting it they almost got caught but escaped. As the tournament reaches its championship game, Lonnie learns that some heavy bettors want Cal to keep him on the bench so the team loses the championship. Cal knows that the game is important to Lonnie and decides to put him in. The last seconds of the game ticks away, the team was down by one and Lonnie had the last shot its win or lose. People will enjoy ¿Hoops¿ by Walter Dean Myers because it as little of everything, suspense, action, and drama. I would recommend the book to young teens because it teaches a lot about friendship and working together. The best thing I like about the book is the suspense as for example when Lonnie has the ball and the game clock ticks away and he shoots the ball and you don¿t know if its going in or not. The author does a good job making you want to read more and wondering what will happen next. Honestly the book was near perfect and its not confusing. The theme of the novel is the friendship of Lonnie and Paul. For example in the book, when Cal asked Paul to shoot the game winning basket but Paul said to Cal that Lonnie should take the last shoot, this shows that Paul trust Lonnie with the game on the line and knows that he¿ll make the shot to win the game. One point in the story Lonnie¿s team lost the first two games. The author made them lose those games because he wanted to let the readers know that if you don¿t work together and play as a team you cant win.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2007


    This Book is Amazing, you Have got to read it if you enjoy basketball

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2006

    The best review ever

    This book is all about basketball but also has a very good stoory.The characters are really good and you can get into them.While reading this I never once thought it was boring.The ending of this book was also spectacular.I would reccomend this to anyone who likes a good book.\ Hooops-The books main character is Lonnie Jackson (19) who lives in Harlem.He is a good ball player and soon gets involved in a tournament.He meets a man named Cal who is coaching the team and they soon become freinds.You learn more and more about Cal as the story goes on and Lonnie learns from it. As the book nears the end it spills out of control and has a crazy ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    Jamil's Gym

    Hoops is about a boy named Leon who lives in New York City and is a very good basketball player. He works in a motel to help out his mom who is single parent. His mom and him always get into arguments about how he won¿t make it in basketball and it is a waste of time. Leon gets his chance to show his basketball skills and he gets his chance from a coach who uses to play in the NBA. He teaches him about basketball and about life. He was like a father figure to him. But it takes a big turn when Leon gets in trouble hanging with the wrong people and he almost lost his opportunity to play basketball. I liked the book I read because I like reading sports books and I could somehow relate to the book because I love basketball. The book also talked about how important it is to be good and not go through the wrong road. It teaches you how to be responsible in life and when you have a talent you should take advantage of it when you have the chance to. The book has a great setting and the characters felt like they were real. Leon seemed so real because his life and what he was going through related to what boys go through today in the ¿ghetto.¿ When you start reading the book it will be hard to put it down. This book is good for people who like basketball or just enjoy sports in general. Leon almost lost his chance in showing his basketball skills because he was hanging around with the wrong people and his coach gave him a second chance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2006

    Shut up and listen

    I Havn't really read this book but i really think this book would gonna be a great book the people who thinks it suk is very wrong all the books i read of WALTER DEAN MYRES are great so u shut up and stop trying to make walter fill bad who wrote this is probley white because they probley hate black people not that im racest anyways i think its gonna be a great book i gonna buy and then im gonna write a review about and im gonna prove u wrong only 4 the people who think this book suck well if im wrong i will stop reading his books and trust me i will tell the truth because i can't stand boring books so anyways im gonna prove u wrong peace out

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