Harlem teen Drew Lawson thinks that he has “the big-money skills” for the NBA. Now a senior, he plans to play his best game, attract scouts, and earn a scholarship that will, he hopes, lead to the pros. Then his coach begins to favor a new, white player, and Drew struggles to overcome his anger and to maintain his drive. Basketball fans will love the long passages of detailed court action, and Myers extends the sports metaphors into Drew’s own questions about the future possibilities for himself and his peers, particularly the struggling young men in his neighborhood, whom he sees as “a bunch of guys in a game. They were falling behind every minute that passed, but they had lost interest in the score.” Myers explores his themes with a veteran writer’s skill. Passages that could have read as heavy-handed messages come across, instead, as the authentic thoughts of a strong, likable, African American teen whose anxieties, sharp insights, and belief in his own abilities will captivate readers of all backgrounds. Grades 8-12. –Gillian Engberg
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