cover image This Way Home

This Way Home

Wes Moore, with Shawn Goodman. Delacorte, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-74169-9

Growing up against the backdrop of Baltimore’s streets and basketball courts, 17-year-old Elijah is also desperately searching for the father he never knew. Basketball is Elijah’s way to something better in life, and his two best friends, Michael and Dylan, are by his side. During the summer after his junior year, Elijah goes to work for Banks, a mysterious Army veteran his mother knows, as he and his friends prepare for an important street basketball tournament. When tragedy strikes, Elijah is faced with increasingly untenable situations, including a showdown with a local gang, and must rely on Banks’s lessons to survive. Moore (Discovering Wes Moore) and Goodman (Kindness for Weakness) present difficult circumstances in an even-handed manner, while messages about friendship, hard work, and the importance of having—and following—a dream are an organic part of the story, delivered without preaching. Consequences arrive in a similarly no-nonsense fashion, standing on the strength of the story rather than literary acrobatics. Ages 14–up. Agent: (for Moore) Linda Loewenthal, David Black Agency; (for Goodman) Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Nov.)