Learning The Game

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Overview


It isn't how you play the game -- it's how you let the game play you. When Nate's team commits a crime, all of his loyalties are tested -- and questioned. A bold hardcover debut.

Over the hot, Indiana summer, Nate's high school basketball team practices on a local court off a row of fraternities. One day after practice, one of the team members suggests breaking into a frat house and looting its contents. Nate goes along with it -- a move he instantly regrets. Soon all of his ...

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2006 Paperback This is a Perma-Bound / Library Binding Edition A brand-new, unused, unready copy. American Classroom Libraries has over 30, 000 childrens books in stock. We Ship ... Daily! Read more Show Less

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Overview


It isn't how you play the game -- it's how you let the game play you. When Nate's team commits a crime, all of his loyalties are tested -- and questioned. A bold hardcover debut.

Over the hot, Indiana summer, Nate's high school basketball team practices on a local court off a row of fraternities. One day after practice, one of the team members suggests breaking into a frat house and looting its contents. Nate goes along with it -- a move he instantly regrets. Soon all of his loyalties are being tested -- with his brother, a town outcast who might be blamed for the crime; with his girlfriend, who he tries to confide in; and with his teammates. A phenomenal novel in the tradition of Chris Crutcher, Rich Wallace, and Walter Dean Myers' SLAM.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

SLJ 12/1/05
WALTMAN, Kevin. Learning the Game. 217p. Scholastic. 2005. Tr $16.95. ISBN 0-439-73109-7. LC number unavailable.
Gr 8 Up–Nate's brother, Marvin, accidentally shot his friend five years ago. This chance event sends him away from home and down the road of drugs and crime, leaving his wealthy parents in a fog of denial. Nate's goal is snagging the final starting spot on the varsity basketball team, and he practices every day on a court outside a local fraternity house. One thing leads to another and Nate finds himself following some of his teammates into the house, stealing whatever they can and rationalizing that the wealthy fraternity boys will not miss a few electronics. As Nate struggles with his conscience, he learns about how a chance decision can make or break someone's life. Does he confess to his coach and risk incriminating the entire team? Does he follow his girlfriend's advice and protect his image? Does he seek out Marvin and try to learn from his mistakes? Readers picking up the book for sports action will not be disappointed, but they will also find themselves relating to and intrigued by Nate and the tough choices he is forced to make. Conflict ranges from external as players compete for time on the varsity team, to internal as Nate must decide between right and wrong and chance versus choice. Teenagers will relate to these well-developed characters who make poor decisions and are then left to struggle with the consequences.–Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY

Kliatt
Claire Rosser (KLIATT Review, July 2005 (Vol. 39, No. 4))
Waltman, the author of a similar YA novel, Nowhere Fast, knows how to get at the heart of an adolescent boy, especially one unsure of who he is. The protagonist is Nate, who lives a comfortable life in the best section of a small town in Indiana; he is the younger brother of Marvin, whose life appears to be in ruin after an accident with a gun. Marvin knows when Nate is involved with his basketball team in a burglary at a local frat house, and he helps Nate figure out what to do in the aftermath. Basketball is Nate's passion, and he has worked so hard to be part of the varsity team, he doesn't seem able to say no to the team bad boy who urges the robbery. The heroic figure is Jackson, the only black member of the team, who refuses to go along with the robbery and talks sense to Nate. Nate's snobbish father figures that Jackson, because he IS black, must have been in on the robbery. Another main figure is Lorrie, Nate's girlfriend, who also is a dedicated basketball player. Lorrie's advice to Nate, when he tells her the truth, is that he should never admit his guilt--so he is torn apart by conflicting opinions and must search inside himself for the solution. In doing so, he understands things about himself that will change him forever. For a sports book, there are a lot of words about feelings and thoughts; but there are also many passages of sports action that will satisfy those who like basketball. Most athletes will understand the pull of teammates and the lure of belonging to a team, which would make most of us weak enough to go along with the group even if the group is not doing what's right. And then lying to protect teammates, to keep a team together--we all understand how that would happen. This is a book that has appeal for all YAs. There are some instances of the F word, but nothing that would shock any YA at all. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Scholastic, 217p., $16.95. Ages 12 to 18.

Children's Literature - Monserrat Urena
Nate Gilman seems to have the perfect life. His family is well off. He has a great girlfriend. He is on the honor roll, and he has the moves that could make the upcoming basketball season unforgettable. Nate's "perfect" world is marred by the day his older brother Marvin accidentally shoots a family friend. A few years have passed since the accident and things have only gotten harder. Nate's parents are only shadows of their former selves, and Marvin has moved out. Nate is left alone with the whispers and the burden of being the "good" Gilman. Until the day Nate helps some of his fellow teammates rob one of the fraternities at the local college. Nate must choose whether or not he is going to tell the truth about what really happened. Kevin Waltman's work presents a standard model of teenage angst with Nate Gilman as the main vehicle of expression. Nate is a sympathetic character, but the reader's attention is often drawn away from him by the many other interconnecting narratives. As the reader attempts to take in all the novel's subplots, they are rushed towards a very tidy ending. It is an ending that illustrates the strong consequences for choices made, but it fails to last in the reader's mind beyond the last page.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439676113
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Series: Push Fiction Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    I read "Learning the Game" by Kevin Waltman this year

    I read "Learning the Game" by Kevin Waltman this year for my summer reading. I really enjoyed reading this book because he showed family strength and how familys stay together, and also it was about one of my favorite sports basketball. The main character in this book is Nate. Nates brother Marvin was a highschool dropout that screwed his life over with the use of drugs, alchohal, and violence. Throughout this book you will see Nate trying to bring Marvin back into the family. Although this is tough for Nate, for Nate has to focus on school, basketball, and his girlfriend the whole time. I gave this book four stars out of five because while it was a fantastic book i feel as though is was slow paced at many parts, other than that this book was great. I hope there is a sequal to this book that would be great. "Learning the Game" by Kevin Waltman was a great book and I recommend it to anyone thats looking for a page turning book.

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Review

    Learning the game is an interesting book about Nate Aldridge, a regular teenage boy trying to make the starting rotation for the varsity basketball team, for his senior year. His brother marvin though, is a mess. He accidentally shot his friend when he was young and ever since then he changed significantly. Marvin is basically a ghost to Nate and his parents, they never ever hear from him or see him because he lives in a run down fraternity house with several druggies. But, for Nate everything is pretty much normal until one day when everything changes for the worse, which forces Nate to make a decision....Whats more important to him? his friends, his girlfriend, his parents, or the Team.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2009

    learning the game

    i am a junior and in high school. when i checked this book out, i had no idea on what i was going to be reading. after i started reading the first 50 pages; i knew it was going to be a great book and i would learn alot of lessons in life. the main character played a good part in this book, this book has a theme that could almost happen to anybody who was just a regular basketball player. Nate had an interesting life due to b-ball, he learned his lesson after he played a different game than the one he use to by playing for something more than to have fun and for a championship. he was playing for something you only get once.

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