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Night hoops

by Carl Deuker


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School Library Journal :

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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

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