Players

Joyce Sweeney, Author
Joyce Sweeney, Author Winslowhouse International $16.95 (225p) ISBN 978-1-890817-54-1
Paperback - 222 pages - 978-1-890817-86-2
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-1-58837-016-7
Paperback - 220 pages - 978-0-7614-5236-2
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-7569-7738-2
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Sweeney (Shadow; The Spirit Window) explores the disastrous effects of competitiveness gone too far in this suspenseful story about a high school basketball team. Corey, from whose point of view the novel is told, plus three other returning starters hope to win for the St. Philips Badgers an All-City Championship. But when transfer student Noah Travers is added to the roster, he throws the team off balance. Although Noah's athletic skills are impressive, he runs a one-man show on court. His hot-dogger antics breed resentment among players, who soon blame Noah for mysterious misfortunes such as starting center Luke's fainting spell before the first game, another key player's sudden decision to quit the team and the discovery of a gun in Luke's locker. As team captain, Corey must play referee off court as he tries to quell the rising tensions and give Noah a fair shot at proving himself. Sometimes the plot and the pop-psychology passages go overboard (as when Corey's sister tells him, ""We need to grow up, Corey. We need to face the idea that there is bad in this world"") and readers less gullible than Corey will pick up on clues the protagonist misses. Nonetheless, they will stay on the edge of their seats waiting to find out how far Noah's scheming will take him. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
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