Slam Dunk

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Overview

Talented thirteen-year-old Ashlee Carson is the Tribeca Saints' topscoring point guard. Ashlee is smart, too, but her mom worries that basketball is going to get in the way of her bright academic future. Ashlee will do anything for a chance to win a place on the National Youth basketball team — even if it means defying her mother and enlisting the help of her estranged father, a former professional basketball player. This gripping story, with plenty of drama both on and off the court, will appeal to any young ...

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Overview

Talented thirteen-year-old Ashlee Carson is the Tribeca Saints' topscoring point guard. Ashlee is smart, too, but her mom worries that basketball is going to get in the way of her bright academic future. Ashlee will do anything for a chance to win a place on the National Youth basketball team — even if it means defying her mother and enlisting the help of her estranged father, a former professional basketball player. This gripping story, with plenty of drama both on and off the court, will appeal to any young basketball fan.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Caroline B. Hopenwasser
At thirteen years old Ashlee is already a great basketball player. She has the genes; her father is a former basketball star, and she has the drive. Her mother nevertheless believes that Ashlee's destiny is not on the basketball court. Bitter over the end of her marriage to the basketball star who turned into a drunk, Ashlee's mom pushes her to put academics over basketball. When the opportunity to compete for a place on the national girls' team presents itself, Ashlee decides to go against her mother's wishes and pursue her dream. Calling on her absent dad for help, Ashlee takes off to Florida for the team tryouts. In Ashlee, King creates a likeable and sympathetic character. She is a "good" girl who works hard at school and on the basketball court. Unfortunately her mother cannot see it because she is blinded by past experiences with Ashlee's father. Ashlee's bold decision to pursue her dream helps open her mom's eyes and they begin to put the past behind them. Reviewer: Caroline B. Hopenwasser
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753461556
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 11/15/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 7.18 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna King is the alter ego of Jenny Oldfield, a best-selling author of children's series fiction, including the Horses of Half-Moon Ranch series. More than one million copies of her books have been sold around the world.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Go, Saints! Go, Saints!" the fans yelled.

Ashlee fell back to defend.

"Yeah, Ashlee!" the Saints fans cried as she stole the ball back. She dribbled smoothly past half court, faked in one direction to give herself an open space,

drove to the basket, and then pivoted and passed as a Panthers' defender closed in. Marissa caught the ball, faked, and passed back to Ashlee. This time Ashlee squared up to the hoop, tucked her elbows in, and shot.

She heard only the voice of their coach, Erika Schrader, yelling instructions from the bench.

"Press!" Erika cried as the Panthers inbounded the ball.

"Great defending!" the crowd roared.

and block the ball. They'd seen her dribble circles around the Panthers team,

twist her torso in midair, and float the ball through that magical hoop.

"How does Ashlee do that?" the crowd cried in astonishment. "Honest to God, I swear I saw that girl fly!"

"Ashlee, where were you?" Theresa Carson was angry, waiting for her daughter at the door of their apartment. "I expected you home early tonight."

"The Saints had a game," Ashlee muttered. She flung her school bag down in the hallway and headed for the refrigerator.

"How come you never told me?"

"I did."

"I don't remember." Frowning, Theresa searched on the narrow hall table for her keys. "Listen, I'm late for work. I'm going to trust you to do your homework and then get to bed early. You look beat."

"'Hey, Ashlee, how did the game go? Did you win?'" Ashlee mimicked the voice of a sweet, supportive mom, the type that wore lipstick and baked apple pie. The type that didn't exist.

"Do your homework," her mom repeated, banging the door shut as she left.

"Footwork fundamentals." Erika began Saturday's coaching session with the basics. She was focused on the four new kids who had joined the Tribeca Saints. "You stand with your weight forward on the balls of your feet, knees bent, butt down, hands held at five and ten o'clock. Marissa, you show them."

Ashlee's best friend went into the familiar crouch, while Ashlee sat tapping her foot on the sideline. In her head she ran through the new offensive formation that she wanted to practise with the rest of the team.

"From there you can slide left and right or shuffle backward and forward,"

Erika went on. "Simple," she grinned as Marissa demonstrated.

"Hey, Ashlee. Where were you after the game last night?" Angelica leaned across the row of leggy girls, all dressed in warm-up pants and Saints practice jerseys.

"Yeah, Ash. Why didn't you stay behind and celebrate?" Candice asked. "This is the first year ever that we beat the Panthers, and it was mostly down to you."

110 percent of the time.

Ashlee. Work, work, work.

eyed kid who had it all. There were sunny poolside pictures to prove it.

After her dad vanished for good, Ashlee and her mom had downsized big time. Gone was the luxurious waterside house in Miami. Hello to three rooms in a run-down brownstone in Tribeca—back to Theresa's roots in the old meat-

packing district of New York. Garbage and dirty snowdrifts lining the winter streets, the dash and rattle of the subway trains at the end of their street, the melting-pot school overlooking the wide Hudson river, where Ashlee first picked up a basketball seriously and discovered she had a real talent.

"Ashlee?" Erika called. "Hey, wake up, girl. Didn't you hear me call the 'A'

squad onto the court?"

"Sorry. What are we doing here?"

"Showing the new kids how to fake," Marissa muttered from the corner of her mouth, passing Ashlee a ball.

"Begin with a head fake," Erika instructed. "Go!"

"That's how you fake a defender—they think you're going to pass to the right,

but you pass the opposite way. Lo and behold, you open up some space for a clean pass. Does that make sense?"

"Ashlee, I want to talk," Erika said, leaving Marissa, Lindsay, Candice, and Angelica in charge of coaching the four new recruits. The coach took Ashlee off to the side.

"Are you okay?" she checked.

"Anything I can help with?"

"No, it's cool."

"Come on, I may look like I bite, but I promise I won't," Erika urged. She'd been coaching kids for 15 years—drilling, teaching them the drop step, the jump shot, the "give and go." She prided herself on being able to read a kid's personality as well as anyone.

"No, really." When it came to personal stuff, Ashlee always did this. She shut up as tight as a clam. Or she said everything was cool. She faked it off the court as well as on.

"Wow!" Ashlee took a deep breath as her roller-coaster life took a sudden turn. Hold on tight!

"Yeah, wow! But seriously, Ashlee, I have high hopes for you."

"Thanks, Erika. I love playing point guard, and I won't let you down."

"I want it!"

"Enough?" Erika double-checked.

"I love playing basketball!" Ashlee insisted. "I live it, breathe it, sleep it. It's all I ever want to do!"

"And nothing's going to stop you?" Erika asked.

she promised. "When I'm out there on that court, I want to win. Believe me!"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    Wonderful book with a great moral.

    An incredible basketball player, Ashlee Carson wants to be famous one day. Her father is a professional basketball player, who left her and her mother at the age of six. Today she is with her mother, who is more interested in her daughter's education then basketball. When Ashlee makes the choice to play basketball and go to Miami where her dad is located, she tries to pursue her dreams of making the National Youth basketball team. Donna King is a bestselling children's author. I was very interested in this book, being a basketball player myself. Ashlee is very dedicated and this is shown very well. Her coach also sees potential in her, "You're good enough to make it to the top in women's basketball." She confided. "I mean it, kid. You're heading for the heights- for junior regional teams and then nationals, if you want it enough." This book met all the purposes of if you want it, go for it. Ashlee was determined to make it to the top and she did. This shows that if you try hard enough anything is possible. Even when her mom was more interested in Ashlee's academic future she kept pushing for the top. Ashlee is great basketball player, it is in her genes. Although her dad was a professional basketball player, he is not around and she has to push herself on her own. Sometimes you have to take things into your own hands and make the choice of what you truly believe in. Ashlee did this and is now headed for a great future. I conclude that this book has a wonderful meaning and can teach others to push their self to fulfill their dreams. My final review is a favorable one. I Like this book because Ashlee pushes herself to become the best that she possibly can be. This inspired me to do the same and become something even if others try to get in my way. I give this book five stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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