cover image Home Court

Home Court

Amar'e Stoudemire, illus. by Tim Jessell. Scholastic, $17.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-545-43169-9

NBA All-Star Stoudemire launches a series based on his own life with this slim, quick-moving novel about 11-year-old Amar'e, who lives in a Florida town with his father and older brother. The title %E2%80%A8of the series, STAT, which is Amar'e's %E2%80%A8father's nickname for him, stands for "Standing Tall And Talented": "That's how he wanted me to act and who he wanted me to be." An honor roll student and a loyal friend, Amar'e strives to live up to his father's expectations and grabs the opportunity to right a wrong when bullies take over the neighborhood basketball court. For control of the court, Amar'e and his friends challenge the older players to a game, winner take all. The game's rapid-fire play-by-play constitutes a good chunk of the book and will keep basketball fans riveted. Yet this well-rounded story is as much about friendship and family as on-court action. The characters' easygoing, slang-studded dialogue is zingy, and Amar'e's voice is refreshingly real. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. Agents: Happy Walters, Rogue Sports; Aaron Spiewak, Designers Management Agency; Cathy Hemming, McCormick and Williams. (Aug.)