Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld, Raymond. Stealing the Game
1 February 2015, Disney Press
E ARC from Netgalley.com
In this sequel to Sasquatch in the Paint, Chris being dragged out of class and questioned by the
police. We then find out information slowly-- his brother Jax has
flunked out of Stanford Law School and seems to be in trouble with local
hoodlum, Rand. Jax even arranges for Chris's basketball team to play
another, better team-- and there seems to be money riding on the game.
At the same time, Chris's parents start pushing HIM to up his game for
college; they are high powered lawyers, and want Chris to have a passion
that he wants to pursue. He does, but it's not one he has told anyone
but Jax; he draws comics, and his main character is Master Thief. Chris
has never stolen anything, so when cute girl Brooke runs into him
outside a comic book store and the two get to talking, he agrees to go
with her to her family's business and try to shoplift something. He's
set up, but turns the tables cleverly on Brooke. Chris is very afraid
that Jax is into something really bad, and when his brother asks him to
help rob a pawn shop, Chris puts his Master Thief research to good use.
There's a lot more going on than Chris suspects. There's a lot of good
basketball descriptions, but also some interesting mystery going on.
The cover and author will appeal to boys who want books about
basketball, and there's enough to keep them interested, but the focus of
the story is really the mystery. It's well done and enjoyable, but a
bit of a departure from the first book, which was more of a problem
novel. I'd love to see a third book that also includes a mystery.
The scenes in Chris's classroom (They are reading Catcher in the Rye in
middle school? Sigh.) really slow down the plot and could have been
cut. I liked this more than I liked the first book, though. Chris ends
up being really clever.