by Kwame Alexander
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
Newbery Award Winner
This fast-moving story, written in poem, you will dive you into a family of basketball. Twins, coached since they were three by their basketball winning father, “Da Man”, sizzle on the court. Josh and Jordan know every move, every line-up; they know how to play off other’s strengths, and into other’s blindspots; they rule the court. Coming into the final season games, headed for championship, Josh’s world starts to change. Jordan finds a girl friend and Josh becomes the outsider. Angry, he makes a dumb move, and is removed from all games, but must attend the games from the sidelines. During this growing up time, he asks that he not be called by his childhood name, Filthy McNasty. His father’s world is changing too, and we learn why the title fits the story.
by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson
Henry Holt, 1997
If you have a basketball lover in the family, this is the book for them. The book opens in the last minute of a girl’s basketball game in which the winner will win the championship. All the dribbles, all the moves and counter moves flash across the page and the Cardinals run neck and neck with the Blue Jays. The score’s 44 to 44, with 16 seconds more to go, who will win? The Blue Jays score, Cardinals call Timeout! They huddle for the play that will win. Cardinals driving in to win, the Blue Jays try to steal, but nothing deters the Cardinals with 3 seconds to go. Faking a pass, they have one second left and must throw. They pivot and toss to the 3-point line, the crowds go wild as the last toss is made. The “Basket ball spins, arching high…Falling now, from the sky… whirling, swirling…SWISH! It’s in!” I’ve never seen a story start so fast and end so furiously. Even readers normally beyond picture books will enjoy the action.
This book is out of print; check your library for a copy.