Wednesday, October 17, 2012

True Legend

True LegendLupica, Mike. True Legend.
4 September 2012, Philomel

Drew Robinson is an excellent basketball player who has a good chance of going into professional basketball when he is out of high school.He has attracted the attention of a local businessman, Mr. Gilbert, who is helping him make contacts with media and sports people. Drew's best friend, Lee, puts up with his temper and enables him a bit, helping him with homework. About the only person who doesn't fall under the spell of Drew (aka True) is Callie, a hot shot girls' basketball player who thinks that Drew is a goof. Drew is getting a lot of media attention for his playing skills, but he starts to make poor choices on the court, making plays that show his talents instead of plays that help the team win. When throwing the ball around in the local park, he sees a man in a Lakers hoodie, and when the man later gives Drew a hard time about the choices he makes, Drew does some research and figures out that the man is Urban "Legend" Sellers, who was a huge high school star before losing it all to drugs. He starts to research more about Urban, but doesn't quite make the connection between the man's cockiness and his own, even after he and Lee are involved in a minor car crash with Mr. Gilbert's Maserati. Can Drew figure out what he needs to do to stay on top AND to help his team?
Strengths: Lots of good play-by-plays of close games, a really fun, spunky love interest, and realistic problems make this new title by a trusted sports author one that will fly off the library shelves.
Weaknesses: After the awesome Game Changers, this was a bit of a let down. The plot device of a washed up former star trying to live an anonymous life but being tracked down by an up and coming teen has been done (Finding Buck McHenry, Roots in the Outfield, Hoops, just off the top of my head), and while Drew did learn a little bit of a lesson, I don't feel that he completely understood, I never found him likeable.

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