Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Slam! by Walter Dean Myers

I was supposed to post this last week, but was distracted and forgot. Slam! is a good basketball story. Very good, in fact. So here's an excerpt:

Coach went around... telling everybody not to feel bad. He was feeling bad, though, and you could see that all over his face...

Me and Ducky started to the bus stop and a car pulled up. It was Ducky's mom.
"Can we drop you someplace?" she asked.
Yo, Ducky's mom was fine. If she wasn't white and about thirty-something I might have given her a play. She got the hint real quick that we had blown the game and went on about how crowded it was downtown. Ducky didn't want to hear that mess and neither did I so she shut up.
"I'll come to the next game if I can," she said when she left me off on 145th.
"You lucky?" I asked.
"I think so," she said, and flashed me a pretty smile.
I got upstairs and a little big-eyed boy named Donnie was standing on the landing.
"Your father got shot," he said.
I busted down the hall and saw the door was unlocked. My heart was jumping when I ran in. Moms was making coffee at the stove and Derek was reading a comic.
"Where's Pops?" I asked.
"He's in the living room watching television," Moms said. "You hear he broke his arm?"
"Broke his arm?" I looked down the hallway toward the living room but I couldn't see nothing. "Donnie said he got shot."
"He's only four," Moms said. "Anytime somebody gets hurt around here the little kids think they got shot. No, he just broke his arm."
"Slam" Harris knows he could be one of the lucky ones, making it all the way to the top. He may not be able to do anything about the rest of his life but when he gets onto the basketball court, Slam feels in control.

But what if his luck runs out? His grades aren't so hot. His teachers are starting to catch on. And his temper - well, his temper is always on the verge of exploding.

Slam! won a Coretta Scott King Award, and is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Walter Dean Myers just doesn't know how to write a bad book.

1 comment :

Ms. Yingling said...

I'll include this spotlight on my World Wednesday round up next week. Thanks for posting!