Being recruited to play basketball at the college level is the only way out of a bad situation for Elijah Thomas. His father bailed on his mother when Elijah was only two years old. Since then his mother has worked two jobs to make ends meet.
Junior year has ended and Elijah and his two best friends are planning to compete in a local adult basketball tournament. Winning could earn them $3,000. Elijah and Dylan are thrilled when Michael shows up with three shoeboxes. Three awesome pairs of Jordan's that should have them running circles around their opponents. A few days later, Michael appears with three incredible jerseys. Well, they are incredible until Elijah eyes the small but highly noticeable patch that represents the Blood Street Nation gang.
When Elijah and Dylan question Michael, he assures them it is no big deal. There's a guy named Money who simply wants to make sure they are lookin' good when they win the tournament and the big money. Although, wearing the gang's colors seems dangerous, the three teammates push aside their concerns and prepare to play.
Shortly before the big tourney begins, a local boy is shot. The neighborhood is on edge, especially Elijah's mom, and when she overhears a kid talking about the patch on the new jerseys, she is furious. Elijah has always managed to stay out of trouble on the street, but hooking up with Blood Street Nation in any way can only end in disaster.
Authors Wes Moore and Shawn Goodman weave a story about the threat of gang involvement for young men trying to find their way out of the poverty of inner city life. THIS WAY HOME offers enough basketball action for sports fans and enough drama for other readers. Short chapters keep the story moving and crisp action will capture and hold the attention of even reluctant readers.
Previously posted at readingjunky.blogspot.com
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