Hoops of Steel

Hoops of Steel

by John Foley
4.4 5

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Overview

Hoops of Steel by John Foley

Basketball is Jackson O’Connell’s life. Much more than a game, it allows him to cross barriers of class and race, and make new friends from the rival high school. Driven by his passion for hoops, he can almost forget his alcoholic father and a night of violence that tore his family apart. Jackson’s senior year is plagued by volcanic zits, girl shyness, and rumors that isolate him from most of the school. And when team politics keep him off the starting lineup of the basketball team, his hopes for a scholarship plummet like an airball. His self-confidence in tatters, Jackson makes errors on and off the court that almost cost him a friend and the girl of his dreams. With no rulebook to follow, Jackson must learn how to rebound from injustice and anger . . . and start shooting from the heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738725277
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publication date: 09/08/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 963,697
File size: 498 KB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

John Foley is a high school teacher in Washington State. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Chicago suburbs and Alaska, covering sports, cops, features and any other beat that didn't require him to attend sanitary sewer meetings. Following a career change to teaching, he worked in Alaskan villages for several years, which led to his memoir Tundra Teacher. Hoops of Steel is based in part on his experiences as a basketball player. Foley was second string on the junior varsity at a Division III school, but prefers to simply say that he "played college ball."

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Hoops of Steel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Jackson is beginning his senior year with one goal: To play basketball and get a college scholarship to a division I college. He lives with Granny (who is not his actual grandmother, but rather a kind neighbor who took him in when things "got crazy" about a year ago). Even though Jackson didn't play basketball during the previous year's season due to a broken hand, he's been honing his skills with friends from his school's rival team. Even though he still battles ferocious acne and shyness, Jackson feels he is handling life well and is looking forward to when basketball practice begins.

That's when the coach informs Jackson that he won't be a starting player. He is the only good senior and the coach's goal is to develop the younger players in hopes of a winning season next year.

And Jackson wonders why everything he touches turns out bad. He's separated from his family, won't be able to get that scholarship, and he is being shunned by most people at his school. He even considers quitting the team. On several occasions.

Will Jackson chase his dream when there doesn't seem to be any hope? Will others' actions choose the destiny of his life or will he be in charge? That's a tough question for a high school senior to figure out.

Many readers will relate to Jackson's self-doubt and will understand why he might give up. Readers will also cheer for Jackson as he makes small steps towards recovering from his turbulent past and to live for himself rather than others.

HOOPS OF STEEL is a realistic book full of real pain and real surprises. It is also filled with good friends, hope, and determination. If only everyone would continue to do what they love even if it might not make their dreams come true.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very intellectual. It taught me the concept of high school basketball. It also taught me that people can like you because of what you do not who you are. I recommend this to 9th grade students. This is a great book to read and I read it in 3 days. This book has a great plot and ending. So please buy it!.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jackson is beginning his senior year with one goal: To play basketball and get a college scholarship to a division I college. He lives with Granny (who is not his actual grandmother, but rather a kind neighbor who took him in when things 'got crazy' about a year ago). Even though Jackson didn't play basketball during the previous year's season due to a broken hand, he's been honing his skills with friends from his school's rival team. Even though he still battles ferocious acne and shyness, Jackson feels he is handling life well and is looking forward to when basketball practice begins. That's when the coach informs Jackson that he won't be a starting player. He is the only good senior and the coach's goal is to develop the younger players in hopes of a winning season next year. And Jackson wonders why everything he touches turns out bad. He's separated from his family, won't be able to get that scholarship, and he is being shunned by most people at his school. He even considers quitting the team. On several occasions. Will Jackson chase his dream when there doesn't seem to be any hope? Will others' actions choose the destiny of his life or will he be in charge? That's a tough question for a high school senior to figure out. Many readers will relate to Jackson's self-doubt and will understand why he might give up. Readers will also cheer for Jackson as he makes small steps towards recovering from his turbulent past and to live for himself rather than others. HOOPS OF STEEL is a realistic book full of real pain and real surprises. It is also filled with good friends, hope, and determination. If only everyone would continue to do what they love even if it might not make their dreams come true. **Reviewed by: Dianna Geers
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hoops of Steel is a powerful and realistic portrayal of a high school senior and how he copes with life's difficulties. His problems range from the very serious (alcoholic father and shattered family) to the not-so-serious (zits and smelly feet). The author is honest in his approach and does not attempt to solve all of his main character's issues. Instead the main character struggles to make choices as people do in the real world. Basketball is used as a vehicle for the story but it could just as easily have been any school activity. This should not be dismissed as 'just another basketball story' since it is much deeper than that.