Friday, August 10, 2012
Guy Friday-- Basketball players
1 October 2012, Scholastic (ARC from Netgalley.com)
Oddly enough, this reminded me strongly of Ronde and Tiki Barber's football series. The author is a professional basketball player, and since the main character shares his name, perhaps this series is similarly autobiographical.
Amar'e likes hanging out with his friends, playing basketball and having fun, but he is seriously about his game and looks forward to competing in tournaments in his Florida community. When he does very well in one tournament, he meets local basketball legend Overtime Tanner, who invites Amar'e to compete in his invitational tournament. The problem? His friends are not invited, although Jammer, a player he has admired, is and would like Amar'e on his team. Amar'e's busy but supportive parents think that he should play in the tournament, but he has already committed to being in a tournament at the same time with his friends. Will he be able to make them understand that he might be ready to move beyond them?
Strengths: This was a short book, reminiscent of Matt Christopher or Rich Wallace. Lots of basketball, a slight plot, and easy-to-read chapters will make this hugely popular. My only regret is that the series doesn't seem to have an Accelerated Reader test for the books yet. Drat!
Weaknesses: Could have used more character development-- it was hard for me to tell A'mare's friends apart, and also for me then to feel connected to them.
The first book in this series came out 1 August 2012, so look for it in those back to school Scholastic book club orders.