The Trophy

Overview

This powerful middle-grade novel about a young basketball hopeful and his alcoholic father is sports fiction at its unforgettable best. Danny, ten, dreams of being a basketball star. He takes the game seriously, practicing and playing as much as he can. He also dreams of the day when his father, a mechanic with endless stories of his own high school basketball stardom, will acknowledge Danny's hard work with some words of love and praise. But it never happens. Though Danny's efforts finally pay off and he becomes...
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Overview

This powerful middle-grade novel about a young basketball hopeful and his alcoholic father is sports fiction at its unforgettable best. Danny, ten, dreams of being a basketball star. He takes the game seriously, practicing and playing as much as he can. He also dreams of the day when his father, a mechanic with endless stories of his own high school basketball stardom, will acknowledge Danny's hard work with some words of love and praise. But it never happens. Though Danny's efforts finally pay off and he becomes a skilled player, his struggle to win his father's love seems hopeless...Here is a heart-felt book about sports, alcoholism, and hard-won family love that delivers an encouraging message and packs a tremendous emotional punch.

Ten-year-old Danny struggles to improve his play during his first year on the basketball team and to deal with the moods of his alcoholic father.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Danny Williams, 10, tries to learn how to play basketball and, at the same time, how to deal with his father's alcoholism. There's an attempt to fuse these two plot elements, as Mr. Williams greets his son's athletic efforts with a barrage of criticism and claims of his own past stardom. Eventually, the boy improves as a player, and his dad begins to understand what his drinking has done to his family. The novel does not end, however, on an unrealistically sunny note, as readers realize that the man's road to recovery will not be easy. Taken separately, each part of the story is handled well. Hughes does a fine job capturing the terror that young players with limited skills feel when they play in front of a crowd for the first time. Likewise, the plot elements involving the father's drinking hit on the anger, frustration, and anxiety constantly simmering below the family's surface. Unfortunately, readers don't see enough of Danny's life-they only see him playing basketball and coping with his father's problems, and rarely witness him at school or interacting with others. This, however, is a relatively minor quibble in a book that features fully realized characters and a strong rendering of a serious subject.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Chris Sherman
Hughes explores family problems created by alcoholism in his sensitive portrayal of a young boy desperately trying to please his father and keep his family together. Ten-year-old Danny is enjoying his first season playing basketball. He willingly practices for hours and especially likes being on the same team as his friend Alan. Unfortunately, Danny's dad's heavy drinking is affecting the family. When the situation at home worsens, Danny confides in Alan's father, a Mormon bishop, who intervenes and offers a job and serious advice. Hughes' hopeful ending is neither trite nor contrived, and his characters are thoroughly believable. Although Danny is only 10, he seems older, and his problems won't be unfamiliar to 11- and 12-year-olds. The appealing cover illustration is certain to attract browsers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679843689
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.61 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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