cover image The Legend of Gravity: A Tall Basketball Tale

The Legend of Gravity: A Tall Basketball Tale

Charly Palmer. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-31328-9

Inspired by “unsung basketball greats who never made it to the NBA,” Palmer follows the Eagles, a team of Black streetball players in Milwaukee, spinning a legend of a brilliant player who brings them together. The Hillside Projects team becomes six with a new arrival, nicknamed Gravity for how he leaps over the others (the team was once “able to go out for ice cream before he came down”). He joins “smooth” Liquid, unpredictable Left 2 Right, high-jumping Sky High, towering Too Tall, and an initially unnamed narrator. Gravity carries the Eagles from the local blacktop to the Best of the Best tournament, where they face the formidable East Side Flyers, a team that even Gravity can’t defeat alone. Through stylized, painterly illustrations that highlight kinetic motion, Palmer shows off pickup basketball athletes’ legendary talents while underlining the power of unity and teamwork. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)