Night Hoops (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Night Hoops (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.5 36
by Carl Deuker

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Nick Abbott and Trent Dawson have nothing in common but basketball. It's sophomore year and Nick is trying to deal with his parents' divorce. He also really wants to be a star on the basketball team. Trent, his neighbor, is angry, and aggressive. The two form an uneasy bond as they quietly practice each night on Nick's backyard basketball court. But as the


Nick Abbott and Trent Dawson have nothing in common but basketball. It's sophomore year and Nick is trying to deal with his parents' divorce. He also really wants to be a star on the basketball team. Trent, his neighbor, is angry, and aggressive. The two form an uneasy bond as they quietly practice each night on Nick's backyard basketball court. But as the basketball season progresses, their lives become unexpectedly intertwined. In this story of an unlikely bond, Carl Deuker explores the confusing place between loneliness and friendship, between faithfulness and betrayal. Filled with gripping game play, this is a story about choices.

Editorial Reviews

"Deuker adds further luster to his reputation for top-flight sportswriting matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories." —Kirkus Reviews
To quote from the review of the hardcover edition in KLIATT, March 2000: A novel about high school basketball—white, suburban boys' basketball. Yes, this basketball does still exist, and yes, Deuker tells his story well. There are no swear words and these high school athletes do not discuss sex, but aside from that, the basketball scenes and the father-son relationships are believable. Most of the action is on a basketball court somewhere in the Northwest, in the high school gym or in the backyard. Deuker tells of two brothers, one interested in music, one consumed by basketball. Their father is all too believable as a grown-up determined to relive his own high school athletic experience in his sons. He is too critical, too wrapped up in himself and his own needs; the boys' mother gets sick of him and throws him out. Also, the boys have to deal with another set of brothers who live across the street, thugs who are violent bullies. A major theme of this book is how Nick, the narrator, gets involved with Trent across the street when Trent becomes a teammate on the varsity team. Athletes who read this book will recognize the changes that Nick goes through as he evolves from a person eager to establish himself as a varsity player to a person who understands how important it is for the athlete, especially the point guard, to be part of a team. Deuker doesn't completely ignore the racial realities in basketball. One of Nick's teammates is an African American—but at some point it is clear that this boy Luke is different from black inner-city players from the championship team. White people so rarely have a glimpse of what it is to be a minority in our society, so I liked the scene whenthe suburban team feels uncomfortable when they play at a high school that has mostly students of color. Night Hoops is better than most sports novels for YAs. (The cover art in this paperback edition is excellent.) Category: Paperback Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, HarperTrophy, 250p., Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Nick has the skills and determination to be the starting point guard for his high school basketball team, but does he have the savvy? Filled with riveting game scenes, this gripping novel details the drama of one basketball season. To succeed, Nick must learn how to play smart in a game where second chances are few. Trent, an overly aggressive teammate in trouble with the law, has the same lesson to learn about life. Deuker masterfully illustrates the mental game of basketball, particularly how pacing, momentum, and teamwork depend on a point guard who understands himself and his players--both on and off the court. The action scenes and game-sense will draw sports fans to this book, but concern for Nick as he struggles with the demands of a broken family and troubled friendships, proves equally engaging. Numerous well-defined characters enhance rather than crowd the plot by appearing only as their presence impacts Nick. The complexities of basketball and life provide first-rate, but never preachy, entertainment. Even reader expectations of a "winning" sports ending will remain nail-bitingly unpredictable. 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 12 up, $15.00. Reviewer: Betty Hicks
VOYA - Voya Reviews
No one would expect Nick Abbott to befriend Trent Dawson. An outsider and misfit, Trent and his family are not the kind of neighbors one would want living across the street, let alone hanging around the house shooting baskets. Trent is on welfare with no father in sight, his older brother is always in trouble with the law, his mother parties long and hard, and his house and yard have fallen to ruin. Yet on Nick's backyard court, the boys find a common thread that weaves their lives together--their skills and love of the game make them an unbeatable pair. When both earn spots on the varsity team, the court becomes their whole world and every play is from the heart. Deuker, award-winning author of young adult sports stories, including On the Devil's Court (Little, Brown, 1989/VOYA April 1989), Painting the Black (Houghton Mifflin, 1997/VOYA August 1997), and Heart of a Champion (Little, Brown, 1993/VOYA June 1993), again has written a fast-paced novel that will appeal to the teen reader--even those not interested in the game of basketball. The issues of teens painfully adjusting to the separation of parents, maturely accepting punishment for bad decisions, defending someone against all others' accusations, and realizing the importance of commitment to a team are addressed. As deftly as Nick and Trent move the ball around the court, they reveal more than just the desire to win a game. When faced with unfavorable odds in the game of life, one person can make a difference. As Nick learned, "When you know somebody, everything changes." Establishing a rewarding friendship is not limited by superficial boundaries. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broadgeneral YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 12 to 18, 256p, $15. Reviewer: Cheryl Karp Ward
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-Nick Abbott finds himself trying to deal with his parent's divorce and a host of other problems that face him during his sophomore year. He wants above all else to be a star player on his high school basketball team. As the story progresses, Nick learns how to control the tempo of a game as a point guard, and he also begins to reach a greater maturity in his life. Central to the story is his relationship with his disturbed and angry teammate and neighbor, Trent Dawson. The young men form an uneasy bond as they quietly practice each night on Nick's backyard court. Eventually, they become a dominating duo on the court, with Trent's aggressiveness complemented by Nick's feel for the game. This is an excellent novel. Nick's first-person narration is authentic throughout. The author perfectly captures the swirl of ideas in the adolescent mind. The descriptions of the games are well written and accurate. Best of all, the complexities of basketball are contrasted with the complexities of life. Nick learns how important it is to make adjustments during the course of a game, and he learns that adjustments are also important in life. This message is imparted subtly, though. Deuker delivers a story that features rounded characters dealing with real problems, set against the backdrop of a varsity basketball season.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
New York Times Book Review
The Abbotts and the Dawsons live across the street from each other, and both Nick Abbott and Trent Dawson play basketball. That's all they seem to have in common. But nothing is as it seems, except the actual basketball games. A taut psychological novel.
Kirkus Reviews
Deuker (Painting the Black, 1997) weaves wide bands of fast-break, pulse-pounding basketball action into this piercing exploration of family loyalties and parental failure. Prepared by years of practice, Nick marches triumphantly into high school, through basketball tryouts and onto the team—along with, to his disgust and amazement, despised Trent Dawson, a vicious ne'er-do-well neighbor who has never seemed more than a smaller version of his very bad-news big brother, Zack. But Trent can play, with the same intensity that Nick finds in himself. On the boards, Trent shows signs of wanting to turn his life around, and there, Nick can also escape both the pain of his parents' divorce and the influence of his bullying, manipulative father. In the end, the two lead their team into a district championship despite a two-and-five start and, in a climax that will have even readers not up on b-ball jargon riveted, a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter of the final game. It's only the beginning for Nick, but the triumph is bittersweet for Trent, who turns his back on the fragile stability he's achieved to follow his brother, now a wanted felon, into hiding. Expertly juggling a sackful of subplots, Deuker gives his characters understandable (if not always defensible) motives, and role models whose strengths and flaws are laid out with painful precision. Deuker adds further luster to his reputation for top-flight sportswriting matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories. (Fiction. 11-15)

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

"In the pale moonlight the basket seemed only half real, half there. You'd think that the darkness would make it hard to shoot, but it actually helped to make me concentrate. There was nothing else to see, nothing else to hear. O'Leary wasn't shouting instructions at me; my dad wasn't scrutinizing my every move. There was just the basket in front of me, the ball in my hands, and Trent defending."

Meet the Author

Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

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Night Hoops 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
ERH8000 More than 1 year ago
Night Hoops is a book about a kid named Nick who has to accept his mom and dad's divorce,and trying to have his dad compliment his game.There are NO boring parts in this book.I thought that every moment in this book,thrilled me.I also play basketball in real life,and if you play basketball you will absolutely LOVE this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
Okay, so let me preface this with the fact that I don’t care for sports and that I normally wouldn’t pick up this novel, accept that one of my students wanted to read it for a project. So, since I don’t have all that many sports books on the approved list for my students to read, I allowed it under the condition that I read it too so I could grade the project accordingly. This all being said, please note that if you enjoy sports like basketball or MG novels, then this is definitely a book for you. As a middle-aged female more interested in paranormal teen romance, well, this book didn’t hit the spot for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Deuker is actually a quite accomplished MG author with multiple novels concerning sports for you MG and YA male, and I will definitely be reading more of his work in order to broaden the genre’s I have on my approved reading lists. Deuker has solid themes and though not all the characters are positive in this novel, he has strong male leads that work through problems, creating a happy ending, which is something more books need, in my opinion. I loved the fact that both nick and Trent had their own set of problems, but were able to overlook them and come together for the greater good and their team, and I liked that they worked to solve their problems. Divorce is a very hard topic to write about, as are troubled households, and Deuker did a phenomenal job creating life-like scenarios and causing the reader to feel for his characters. Though I’m not in love with the story since it’s not my cup of tea, I know good writing when I see it, and I definitely think MG males will love this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Idk nm astrids going to like all the nook partys i wanna find one with out her :P
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey guys havnt tlked for a while
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah what i said before i wouldbrate it a zero stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book for anyone who likes basketball. It was also very interesting because it described things other than basketball. An easy book to read. It should be on everyones list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Camerlynck12 More than 1 year ago
The book is about Nick and Trent. It is a high suspense book with lots of basketball action and they are very good at basketball. Trent gets into some trouble but turns his life around when he goes to hang out with Nick. I liked the details in the games and how it tells how they win. I didn't like how at the beginning of the story it started out slow. I would recommend this book to boys ages 10-15 who like basketball; even if you don't like to read you will enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Milligan More than 1 year ago
A+++ Brett Milligan Night Hoops, By Carl Duecker, is a great read. It shows emotion, love, heartbreak and trust. The book is a fictional story, but when you read it, it feels so real. I chose Night Hoops because I love sports books, and also Carl Duecker is an excellent author. Night Hoops is mainly about two boys, Trent Dawson and Nick Abbot, and how they overcame hatred between each other for a sport they both love. The setting for the story is inside Nick's house, at school, or on the basketball court. This story shows a lot of pain that their families are going through, and how two boys become friends and overcome the odds. Night Hoops, in my opinion, is probably the best sports book I have read yet. The character I liked was Nick Abbot. Nick is a good young boy. He does not try to find trouble; usually trouble finds him. I like nick's work ethics; he works hard for what he wants. The ending of the book is a little short and probably not what most readers would want to see. However the overall book is amazing. I would recommend this book for people 12 to 15 years old. I have learned a lesson from this book about; even if you do not think it is possible, keep trying and soon it will come to you. Night Hoops, in my opinion, is a 5-star book. It makes you think, and you never want to stop reading it. If you're into sports, this book this would be a perfect book for you. Carl Duecker used a lot of creativity when writing this book. He makes the reader wonder what will happen next. I have also read another book by Carl Duecker and I loved it; Heart of a Champion. It is an amazing sports story. I guarantee you, if you read one of Carl Duecker books; you will want to read them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Night Hoops is full with action and emotion. The story can be related in many ways to many people and also it is an addicting page turner. I thought the book did a good job having emotion and a splendid job describing the basketball games. The title of the book fits the storyline perfectly because most of the main points are at night shooting hoops. The emotion in the book heated up the farther I got in the book. Friendships are made, but some relationships are broken. Nick's family slowly starts falling apart which gave me the thought that if that happened to me I would go insane. Even though I don't know much about basketball, Carl Deuker described everything precisely so you can understand what's happening. The thing that was very emotional was the change of heart of Trent. With that, the whole story changes. Even with the change of heart, he still remained loyal to his brother still putting him in danger. The worst part of the book was when it ended because I wanted to know what would happen to Trent and his future. -C Long
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nick Abbott is your average basketball sofpmore who decides to try out for the varsity team at Bothell High School. But just like the game, Nick's life has some twists Nick Abbott is a sophomore in high school and wants to be the star basketball player more than anything. He faces many problems in his life. For example, his parents are going through a divorce. Nicks dad also wants him to quit basetball and focus on his trumpet playing. Also, Nick has to face his angry neighbor, Trent Dawson, who is also on the basketball team. The two of them start to become friends as they practice playing basketball every night on Nick's backyard court. Nick joins the team with trent and they become friends. Nick and Trent begin to play basketball as a team and they win the championship. Trent also thanks Nick for helping out with his school work and his personal things about his brother. They become best friends. Nick starts to grow up in many ways on the court and off of it while he is dealing with his new life changes. The main message of the book is that it is very important to make adjustments during the course of a game, as well as, to learn that adjustments are important in life, too. This is a great novel about basketball and friendship. Night Hoops was a really great book and I recommend this to all kids and teens who love to play basketball. This is a great novel about basketball and friendship.
Derks More than 1 year ago
This book suprised me to be honest. Usually I don't expect much from a sports fiction especially from an author that I'm unfamiliar with. But this book seemed to have a balance of sports content and a gripping story to keep me interested and even making me really enjoy reading this book. As the main character, nick abbott, narrates the story I seem to put myself into his shoes as he dealswith his parents divorce and a struggle to decide to help a troubled kid or leave him be. And although I'm not at all in the situation as him, Deuker was able to create such a realistic setting in this book that Nick's thoughts, feelings, and emotions were so easily transferred to the reader through the literature. Deuker also has great knowledge of the game of basketball and accurately cheoreographed the action scenes during the basketball game, a skill which many authors do not possess and therefore their stories lack a setting in which a real basketball player would know is realistic. Not only does Deuker keep the content up to par for a basketball player but he also keeps it easy enough to understand for someone who has never touched a basketball in their life. Overall this book was really complete and I would recommend this book to all my friends especially those who are passionate about sports.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Nick Abbott wants his father's approval more than anything, but his brother Scott is always first in his father's eyes. Nick's father was a basketball star in high school, and he wants Scott to excel in that sport, but Scott just wants to play his trumpet. Nick's parents decide to go their separate ways, and the divorce is a big psychological problem for Nick, but he is determined to be a star on his high school basketball team and gain his father's approval. The boy that lives across the street, Trent Dawson, is an angry and disturbed young man who doesn't get along with anyone, but the boys gradually form a tense friendship as they practice in Nick's new backyard basketball court. Nick convinces Trent that he could be an important part of the squad if he would bring his grades up and try out for the team. Then Trent's brother shoots another boy and Trent feels compelled to go with his brother, who is in hiding. Nick's team is on the verge of a championship season, and with Trent's aggressiveness and Nick's leadership, they could win. Without Trent, the team may falter, and Nick is desperate to convince Trent to stay in school and on the team. Teen angst and the emotional strain of high school relationships are realistic within NIGHT HOOPS. The excitement and descriptions of the games are well written. Deuker is a master at characterization and delivering a story with escalating suspense as the boys deal with real problems. Even reluctant readers, and especially sports-minded boys, will enjoy this electrifying novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a town by the name of Bothell there is a family by the name of the Abbots. This family consists of a mother and father with marital problems. And 2 brothers, younger brother Nick, and Older brother Scott. That is both in high school and play basketball. Their father insisted on building a basketball court in the back yard. Their mother said that they couldn't build it, but the father decided to build it any way. The basketball court was a good thing for Nick because it helped him with his skills. But not for Scott he played the trumpet as well, but his father was very pushy for him to play basketball well. Ultimately Scott chose the trumpet and that displeased his father eventually causing the parents to get a divorce. Across the street for the Abbots were the Dawson's. There we two Dawson boys Trent who was Nicks age and Zach the older one. The Dawson boys were trouble, with their mom having many boyfriends, which had taken a toll on the boys. When school time came around Nick tried out for the basketball team. Strongly so did Trent. This is also where Nick met Luke, Luke ended up being a very good friend to Nick. But during tryouts Trent was very aggressive and no one liked him very much. Nick, Luke, and Trent all made the team. Steve Clay is the Dawson boy's mother current boyfriend has been giving provision by Mrs. Abbott to shoot hoops with Trent in the backyard. When December came nick was suppose to go on a basketball trip but didn't make the cut. By this time Steve clay has broken up with his girlfriend but Trent still came by at night to shoot hoops. When nick didn't go on the basketball trip Scott and his mom had left for a trip. So when Trent came by to shoot hoops Nick shot around with him. This is when Trent and Nick became good friends. Soon enough they had worked their way to star players on the varsity team winning the conference in a big game against Garfield. The major message from this book is that friendship is on of the most important things that you can have this life. I like this book because of this message, it shows a very good transformation of Trent. He goes from bully to a not so bad and nice kid. It shows how people learn to apply themselves and succeed under the worst circumstances. The only dislike of this book for me is that Nick's father was somewhat of a jerk in the sense that Nick could never make him happy until he was the only one in the family playing basketball. I think that someone should definitely read this book if they are into sports and understand certain sports analogies, also if they like a good story line. Another book i can recommend is Phil Jackson's book about his last season with the Lakers because of its basketball content.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tcham More than 1 year ago
This book started off good, there wasn`t really a dull moment in the book. I like how this book is about a kid who makes the high school basketball team. Eventhough his neighbor slash enemy made the team too. The book is about how he and that kid get through the season together. I liked how the book was full of action and there were no boring parts in it. There were things I would have thought would never happen, but they did. I liked how the book ended, it was a very good ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Night Hoops, by Carl Deuker, Sports Fiction This book is about a kid who makes the high school basketball team. Unfortunately, his neighbor/ enemy made the team too. The book is about how he and that kid get through the season. I liked how the book was full of action and there were no boring parts in it. There was stuff in it that I would have thought would never happen, but they did. I liked how the book ended, it was very surprising.
Guest More than 1 year ago