When a young boy in Harlem brings home a brand new pair of Black and Red Double Dunks, he can already see his future as an NBA star. Feeling confident, cool, “ice cold” even, he challenges all of his friends at his local basketball court and beats everyone with ease. But lurking outside of the court fence is a challenger—No Joke Moke, the barefoot basketball champion of East Harlem.
“This is the story of my Allstar shoes and the short life they lived on my size 9 feet” begins the young narrator of The Barefoot Champion. Told in simple yet thoughtful language, The Barefoot Champion evokes all of the youthful dreams, exciting new pairs of shoes, and playground legends that make childhood so fun and memorable.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am so glad I had a chance to read The Barefoot Champion by Michael Gervais. This book reminds me of the students I worked with in inner-city schools where a new pair of shoes or a new dress were a very big deal indeed. When I was introduced to this young man, I was immediately drawn into his world of wanting a new pair of "Black and Red Double Dunks" and the way it would change his expertise as a basketball player. It amazed me that No Joke Moke came along and showed him what a real player could do shoes or no shoes. A wonderful book for beginning readers who will be enthralled with all of the characters in this book. I hope to see more.
This is a short chapter book for beginning readers with a great message. When a young boy in Harlem gets new basketball shoes, he thinks they will make him a champion. They cost a lot of money, but his mom buys them for him. He heads off to the park and challenges his friends to some one-on-one. When he beats them all, he feels like a champion that can not lose. When No-Joke-Moke, challenges him to a game he agrees. Moke is smaller, younger and has shoes with holes, no way can he lose. He even accepts Moke's bet of winner getting the new shoes. Of course you can probably figure out what happens. Shoes do not make a champion. The illustrations in the book are just often enough to add to this story. A great book for children of all ages. This is a great book for public, school, classroom and home libraries. I hope there will be a sequel with these characters as they are easy to relate to. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.