Carl Deuker. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-547-97459-0
When 17-year-old basketball player Jonas Dolan moves to Seattle, he not only has to earn a spot on a new team, he also needs to spend enough time on the court to impress a college coach interested in giving him a scholarship. When the team’s coach is injured, and young Coach Hartwell takes over with a fast-break style that’s in line with Jonas’s own, the team starts winning—and Jonas finally has a starring role as point guard. But Deuker (Payback Time) provides enough foreshadowing for readers to understand that something is wrong with the new coach, who served beer to players at a party at his apartment and was involved in the accident that landed Coach Knecht in the hospital. The novel includes descriptions of many basketball plays and strategies, which should make this book particularly appealing to fans of the game. The plotting is otherwise somewhat slow—despite short, rapid-fire chapters—but once Jonas (and readers) figure out what’s going on with Coach Hartwell, the pace quickens, and Jonas’s struggle to do the right thing intensifies. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
Genre: Children's
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Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-4373-3
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-544-33619-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4829-4371-9
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