The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life

Kwame Alexander, photos by Thai Neave. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-544-57097-9
Newbery Medalist Alexander (The Crossover) uses basketball as a metaphor for growth on and off the court in this stirring collection of 52 motivational poems-as-rules, grouped into four thematic sections (Grit, Motivation, Passion, and Teamwork and Resilience) that correspond to the quarters of the game. Quotations from players and coaches from across the athletic spectrum (Roberto Clemente, Mia Hamm, Pat Riley, and many more), as well as from figures like Sonia Sotomayor and Oprah Winfrey, supplement the always encouraging tone of Alexander’s poems: “When you’re hot, shoot./ When you’re not, pass./ Champions hide/ their weaknesses/ with their strengths,” reads Rule #19, framed against a silhouette of a basketball spinning on a fingertip. Spiked with accents of basketball orange, the book’s sharp, eye-catching design prominently features Neave’s dynamic b&w photographs of basketball players of all ages and colors, shooting hoops in gymnasiums, parks, and street courts. Ages 10–12. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2017
Release date: 02/14/2017
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 176 pages - 978-0-606-39814-5
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-328-69892-6
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