A Book That Should be a Screenplay


Each Little Bird That Sings (2005) by Debbie Wiles is an intermediate level children's book which rocks with humor and wisdom and could be enjoyed by anyone up to the adult level as well. It is told from the point of view of ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger who resides with her extended family in a small Mississippi town funeral home. Attending funerals, 247 of them so far, is a routine part of her life. She is also a would-be reporter who faithfully submits her wry observations about life, funeral etiquette and even a few recipes to the local newspaper, hoping to be published. The first page, "I come from a family with a lot of dead people," reveals the loss of two elderly family members within six months; great, great aunt Florentine, and great uncle Edisto, who were quite old but very much a vibrant part of the family, along with the pattern of regular resident dead guests downstairs. But when the funerals are for family members, there is cause for personal reflection and evaluation of some of her relationships with her superficial best friend Declaration Johnson, who she longs to please, and her ever weeping, seemingly crazy younger cousin Peach, who she always tries to avoid. The slowly drawn out story of the storm on the way to her Aunt Florentine's funeral with flooding and the disappearance of her beloved dog Dismay adds another layer of grief in this year of too many losses, including her best friend's withdrawal.

But Comfort is a solid philosopher whose journaling helps her sort things out and come to new conclusions about her best friend and little cousin Peach. She has lived closely observing families experience the end of life as well as the present, and is fortified with family advice such as the words of her father, "It's not how you die that makes the important impression, Comfort; it's how you live," and her family's motto, "We live to serve." This book would be a perfect family or classroom read-aloud because it's the dialogue among the characters or Comforts's running inner observations that sparkle. The deeper meanings might well pass by young readers not so wise and without the experiences that Comfort has had in her short life. But the laugh-out-loud humor of the telling can be missed by no one. This is a story that longs to live on as a screenplay and movie, so colorful are the characters, so bright the events such as the waves of funerals.

The book has multiple copies available in the OCPL system, including two with Literature Circle editions. Click here to check for available copies. It is also available on compact disc which might be a perfect way to experience it.

 

Calling all Francophiles….


Journey to Paris of the 1920’s through The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and through the movie Midnight in Paris and you will be in Francophile heaven!

The Paris Wife, written from the perspective of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, is a compelling, fictional account of the couple’s life together during a time when Ernest was struggling to find his writing voice. Hadley’s journey became my own and I experienced living in the Jazz Age of Paris, love and loss, and met some fascinating expatriates including Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is rare and joyous to find a book that inspires you to delve more into a subject matter or time period and The Paris Wife did that for me.

My journey continued with Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, his personal account of the same time period and the inspiration for Paula McLain’s novel. Read it to extend your experience and to complete your picture of Ernest Hemingway.

Luckily for me the movie Midnight in Paris was released after I finished reading these two books. The main character in the movie does what I am sure many readers wish they could do, travel back in time. When out on a midnight walk through the City of Light, Gil, a writer struggling with his own novel, takes an unexpected journey to Paris of the 1920’s where he meets the very people we have come to know so well through The Paris Wife and A Moveable Feast.

And now, another stroke of luck for me, Paula McLain the author The Paris Wife, will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 Literary Orange Author Event. I am thrilled with the prospect of meeting the author of one of the best novels of 2011!

Enjoy your journey, and hope to see you at Literary Orange!

 

Wading Through Library Jargon


Do you ever feel out to sea when you go to the auto mechanic, and he says you have a torn CV boot? CV boot? (Scratching head.) How about when the computer guy at the local store says you're really going to need the 3.2 gig quad-core processor. Is that more expensive? (Counting money quickly in your head.) Unless you're the technical type, these terms may just fly right past you. And it sometimes is the case that we at the library get technical too, and start throwing out terms that some might find confusing. Well, hopefully this little post can help you find the materials you want when we drop into our special dialect of English. Here are some of the biggies:

Call number: Hmm ... is call a verb or a noun here? Good question. The call number is essentially an item's address so it can be located. This number in most cases can be found on the spine of the item, and signs direct you to the general location.

Catalog: The list of all the materials the library has. If you want to find a book on your own, this is the place to go. By the way, we've had computerized catalogs for over twenty years now.

Check-in, Check-out: This is you letting us know that you are borrowing a book, or returning it. We then keep track of this in our computer system.

Circulation: The place in the library where items are checked in and out, and where issues related to this process are handled, like paying a fine, or updating one's phone number.

Database: The library's collection on the Internet. It contains online books, magazine articles, newspapers, and other resources.

Hold: A request that a book be set aside for you for usually three days, or transferred to your branch from another and held there for seven days.

Information: The place in the library which handles questions related to the collection or general information. These people help you find what you want.

Interlibrary loan: A service where you can have a book brought to your library from a library outside of OC PUblic Libraries system.

Juvy: A abbreviation for "children's".

OPAC: (Online Public Access Catalog) Another way of saying "catalog". See above.

Reference: Another way of saying "information". See above.

Renew: To extend the period you can borrow the library materials.

Stacks: This just simply means the shelves in the library.

Any others? Share them in the comments.

 

Too Many Books



Like many people I keep a list of books that I hope to read in the near future. Whenever I come across a book
that looks interesting the title gets added to my ever growing list. After thumbing through Peter
Boxall’s 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die my list has grown tremendously.
I can only hope I live a very long time.
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is great fun to browse. Arranged chronologically, one can trace the history and development of storytelling and the novel. Each of the 1001 books is described by a short yet insightful essay. The book is loaded with illustrations, photographs, and author quotations.

All the expected classics are included (Dickens, Austen, Twain), but the real fun is discovering offbeat titles and neglected classics. I also enjoyed seeing which titles published in the last 50 years made the list. I was delighted to see some of my recent favorites: Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. But why was T.C. Boyle’s Drop City included, but not his Tortilla Curtain (a much better book in my humble opinion).

If you like the format of 1001 Books, you might check out others in the series: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die, and the intriguingly titled 1001 Foods You Must Eat Before You Diet.

 

And the Award Goes to…



The National Book Award is one of the top literary prizes for American authors. The award is given to recognize achievements in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People’s Literature. I occasionally browse through the lists of nominees and winners when looking for something to read. Although I have found some of the books too dense or difficult, others are real gems.
When the 2011 National Book Award for fiction was given to Jesmyn Ward for her novel Salvage the Bones, I picked up a copy with a fair amount of skepticism. Reading about a fourteen-year-old, pregnant teen living in abject poverty sounded like too much of a downer. But once I started reading, I became enthralled. Salvage the Bones is a gem, best described as a diamond in the rough. It is a wrenching story of rural hardship during the approaching days of Hurricane Katrina. Fourteen-year-old Esche and her brothers Randall, Skeetah and Junior rely on grit and desperate dreams to eke out an existence in their Mississippi backwater home.

When asked during an interview with Paris Review how she came up with the book’s title, Ms. Ward replied, “The word salvage is phonetically close to savage. At home, among the young, there is honor in that term. It says that come hell or high water, Katrina or oil spill, hunger or heat, you are strong, you are fierce, and you possess hope.”

Despite the doom and gloom, the writing is lyrical. I found Eshe’s observations of life around her poignant and poetic. Her strength of character is a marvel to behold. Parts of the book are not for the squeamish; Esch’s brother breeds and trains pit bulls to be championship dogfighters, and the violence depicted in these fights was tough reading.

Salvage the Bones, while not a “fun” read, is a terrific book for those who are interested in good writing, vivid descriptions, and a haunting story that won’t easily be forgotten.

 

Coffee, Camels and Conscience


“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”.
--Martin Buber


Have you ever wondered what you would do, if our country required mandatory military service? Would you give in and do your "duty", exile yourself to another country, or spend time in jail as a conscientious objector? In Breaking Ranks: Turbulent Travels in the Promised Land, Ben Black finds himself in exactly this situation. Black, born in Scotland to a Jewish family, moves to Israel in his 20s, knowing that if he becomes a citizen, he will be expected to serve in the Israeli military.

Breaking Ranks weaves together the story of a man working for peace in a conflicted land and the fantastic sights he sees while traveling in the area, gaining a better understanding of the region and its people as he goes. He tells us about daily life in Tel Aviv and Jaffa, where he hunts down the best hummus spots and drinks Turkish coffee, also known as “mud,” because it is so thick and strong.

When he travels, he spends his time looking for deals in the souks of Jerusalem, learning about the merits of olive oil in Haifa and searching for a hidden oasis on the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba. He recounts the thrill of a camel race in the desert: “Squashed into the back of a Toyota pick-up truck, we are at least twenty keffiyeh-clad Bedouin strong, burning down the highway chasing camels that look like their legs are about to get tied in a knot” (182).

Shortly after Jordan opens its borders to Israelis, Black also spends some time exploring the (formerly lost) ancient city of Petra. He gives us a traveller’s tip: “It is intoxicating. The more you see the more you want to see. Wandering around the sight, it’s hard to grasp the scale of the place. A week would barely do it justice” (53).

Even when he’s traveling through beautiful and historic places, Black wrestles with his conscious, trying to decide if he will conscript or evade the military and suffer the consequences. Can a man working for peace actively take part in war? Or must he leave the land and people he has come to love to remain true to his personal values?

 

Zora Neale Hurston : A Biography of the Spirit


There have been many literary figures whose singular voices have been well known to other writers of their time, but are not widely known today to the reading public for a variety of reasons. In Zora Neale Hurston’s case, race surely has played its part, along with Hurston’s own belief system, which will take many out of their comfort zones.

In Deborah G. Plant’s biography, Zora Neale Hurston: A Biography of the Spirit, Plant examines Hurston’s spiritual beliefs and the influence they had over her life and works. I thought that the strength of this work was in bringing home the point that Hurston viewed herself first as a scientist, an anthropologist, in particular. She was driven to tell the African American story through her research in oral traditions, collecting songs and folklore from the deep backwoods of the South, to New Orleans, to Jamaica, to Haiti. All of her literary works and dramatic projects were informed by, and sought to shine a light on, the authentic African American experience.

Although, I found the details of her dealings with academia tedious, and I thought that comments in the last chapter by students from the Department of Africana Studies at the University of South Florida about a semester-long course focusing on her work read like page filler, I still enjoyed this book.


In the end, when I read a biography about a literary figure, especially one whose work I am not familiar with, the book is successful with me if it makes a good enough case to me that I might be interested in reading some their work. Zora Neale Hurston is known as the Queen of the Harlem Renaissance, and for good reason. I will definitely be exploring some of her work.

 

Canadian Mysteries


Canadian mysteries are not all alike, of course, but they do share a feeling of being not quite American, not quite British. While certain aspects of language and culture are familiar, detectives north of the border are just a little different from their American counterparts, from the structure of their ranks to how they work their system. The land itself is often almost a character, as Canada has much more open space than the U.S., and the population is so much less dense.

Three Canadian mysteries I would recommend:
From its creepy cover to its amazing portrayal of the unbelievable cold of an Ontario winter, Giles Blunt’s Forty Words for Sorrow (2001) is a great thriller, featuring a detective who is seriously flawed, yet relatable. John Cardinal has secrets, yes, and problems at home, but his personal sorrows compete with his hunt for a serial killer murdering runaway teens. Further books in the series delve into Cardinal’s attempts to cope with his wife’s mental illness, his relationship with his father, the secret he hides from his daughter, and also the story of his partner, Lise Delorme. The stories are compelling, but the great characters are what really make this series stand out. Forty Words for Sorrow is followed by The Delicate Storm (2003), Black Fly Season (2005), By the Time You Read This (2007), and Crime Machine (2011).

The Calling (2009), by Inger Ash Wolfe, introduces DI Hazel Micallef, a very well developed character; Hazel has been the acting Commanding Officer in her small Ontario town, doing her best at 61 to stick it out long enough to foil the brass’ apparent plan to phase out the local police force. Divorced, Hazel lives with her mother, the former mayor of Port Dundas, a nice place, full of small town charm and local flavor. The peace of Hazel’s world of small crime and petty gossip is shattered with the brutal murder of an elderly woman. When another murder occurs just a few hours away, Hazel and her team work under the radar to track what they are beginning to believe is a serial killer with a strange and grisly plan. The Calling walks the line between the humor of Hazel and her mother (almost like a cozy), and the gruesome details of the crimes (here, the pacing and storyline make a great thriller). The Calling is followed by The Taken (2010).

For readers who prefer less gore to their murder, a trip east is in order; murderers in Quebec face the keen mind of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who lives in Montreal, but is often called to investigate in the quaint village of Three Pines. Gamache and the village make their debut in Louise Penny’s Still Life (2006). While many consider this a cozy series, with the village environment and lack of graphic violence typical of the sub-genre, Penny has created a complex character in Gamache and crafts psychologically rich tales with layers of history, emotion, and motive. As Still Life aptly illustrates, even a small village like Three Pines has room for a lifetime full of jealousy, greed, ill-will, and, of course, murder. Gamache first comes to Three Pines after artist Jane Neal is found with an arrow through her heart. Like a classic Agatha Christie, village life leaves plenty of suspects, and Gamache and his detectives delve deep into secrets to reveal the truth. Still Life is followed by A Fatal Grace (2007), The Cruelest Month (2008), A Rule against Murder (2009), The Brutal Telling (2009), Bury Your Dead (2010), and A Trick of the Light (2011).

 

Staff Pick


Destiny of the Republic: A tale of madness, medicine, and the murder of a President
, by Candice Millard (Doubleday, 2011).

Divisive discourse. Politicians with questionable morals and ethics. Assassinations. A medical system that seemed to do more harm than good at times. While that description may sound like today’s society, this is actually a picture of America in 1881.

Into this world, James Garfield, a self-made man who grew up in extreme poverty, was elected President. But just four months after his inauguration, he was shot by a madman. How competition in the medical profession, political power struggles, and even Alexander Graham Bell played a part in Garfield’s story is chronicled in this very-readable piece of American history. A New York Times notable book for 2011.

 

Chick Lit on the Horizon


Fans of chick lit this post is for you. If you are anything like me you’ve been anxiously awaiting the new arrival of several authors' new books. It seems like FOREVER since Emily Giffin has published a new book. I was briefly placated by Something Borrowed coming out at the theaters, but now I am ready for something new! Well, it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer. She is scheduled to publish a new book, Where We Belong, in early 2012. Visit her website to read an excerpt of the new book. If you are not familiar with this popular chic lit author she is definitely one to read. Start with Something Borrowed, read the sequel Something Blue, then read Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With and Heart of the Matter.

Another author I keep checking on for new books is Sophie Kinsella. I was super excited last year when Mini-Shopaholic came out, but I powered right through it and now it’s gone. For a long time I only read the shopaholic books and never ventured into any other Sophie Kinsella books. Big Mistake! Her other books are funny and charming too. If you haven’t read Twenties Girl, Remember Me? or Can You Keep a Secret I recommend these titles. Also, surprise she has more! Before publishing under the name Sophie Kinsella this popular author published several books under the name Madeleine Wickham. But just in case you weren’t excited enough, Sophie Kinsella is coming out with a new book called, I’ve Got Your Number. This book is due to come out on Valentine’s Day 2012.

One more author I try to keep tabs on is Marian Keyes. If she ever comes out with a new novel featuring the Walsh sisters I want to be the first to know. Don’t worry I will let you know too! While she doesn’t have any fiction titles scheduled for publication this year, Marian Keyes is scheduled to publish a non-fiction title in March of 2012. This book is rumored to be called, Saved by Cake. I can’t wait. If you haven’t ever read anything by Irish author, Marian Keyes, I really think you should. Her series featuring the Walsh sisters is fantastic. Start with Watermelon and then continue with Rachel’s Holiday, Angels and Anybody Out There.

Hopefully the thought of our favorite chick lit authors publishing new books gives you hope for a book-filled 2012.

 

Books for Fun with Letters

A to Z by Sandra Boynton
A variety of humorous animal characters introduce the letters of the alphabet.

ABC T-Rex by Bernard Most
A young T-Rex loves his ABCs so much that he eats them up.

ACBers by Carole Lexa Schaefer
When friends go to the park to play, they sing and giggle, jump and tiptoe all the way from A to Z.

Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss
From an alligator made of aaa's to a zebra made of zzz's, the alphabeasties in this book are ingeniously built out of multiple typefaces.

Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood
In Alphabet City, Little e and other lowercase letters repair an old fire truck and come to the rescue when a fire engulfs the letter-making factory.

Animal Antics: A to Z by Anita Lobel
From adoring alligators to zany zebras, the animals in this book merrily form all twenty-six letters of the alphabet using only their bodies.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.

Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman
This deluxe alphabet book features Zuckerman's breathtaking wildlife photography.

Into the A, B, Sea: An Ocean Alphabet Book by Deborah Lee Rose
An alphabet book featuring twenty-six animals found in the ocean.

Kipper's A to Z: An Alphabet Adventure by Mick Inkpen
Kipper the dog and his friend Arnold work through the alphabet by collecting animals and other things for each letter.

Ox, House, Stick: The History of Our Alphabet by Don Robb
See how the Roman alphabet began and how it has changed through the years.

Shout! Shout! Shout it Out! by Denise Fleming
Mouse invites the reader to shout out what he or she knows as they review numbers, letters, and easy words.

Something to Do by David Lucas
After finding a stick, a small bear and a little bear use their imaginations to draw in the sand and make a ladder to the moon. Illustrated shapes with muted colors show how simple lines can create a picture.

The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst
An alphabet book in which each letter becomes three different objects as the book is turned different directions.

 

Spring Reading: Picture Books for Kids


The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
 

Carl and the Baby Duck by Alexandra Day
 

Signs of Spring by Colleen Dolphin
 

My Garden by Kevin Henkes
 

Kitten's Spring by Eugenie Fernandes
 

What Happens In Spring by Sara Latta
 

How Mama Brought the Spring by Fran Manushkin
 

Snow Rabbit Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na
 

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
 

Let's Look at Spring by Sarah Schuette
 

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Spring Babies by Erica Silverman

 

Reality Bites


Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford Awkward freshman Will Carter endures many painful moments during his first year of high school before realizing that nothing good comes easily, focus is everything, and the payoff is usually incredible.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin Smart, occasionally insecure, and ambitious Brooklyn fourteen-year-old Kelsey Finkelstein embarks on her freshman year of high school in Manhattan with the intention of "rebranding" herself, but unfortunately everything she tries to do is a total disaster.

Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer--a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam Rex After being bitten by a vampire, not only is fifteen-year-old Doug doomed eternally to be fat, but now he must also save himself from the desperate host of a public-access-cable vampire-hunting television show that is on the verge of cancellation.

I’m a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb In Omaha, Nebraska, twelve-year-old Oliver Watson has everyone convinced that he's extremely stupid and lazy, but he's actually a very wealthy, evil genius, and when he decides to run for seventh-grade class president, nothing will stand in his way.

So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother) by Michael Ostow Four suburban New Jersey students from the Leo R. Gittleman Jewish Day School form a rock band that becomes inexplicably popular, creating exhilaration, friction, confrontation, and soul-searching among its members.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern When high school sophomore Jessie's long-term best friend transforms herself into a punk and goes after Jessie's would-be boyfriend, Jessie decides to visit "the wild nerd yonder" and seek true friends among classmates who play Dungeons and Dragons.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances Dowell Because living with "modern-hippy" parents on a goat farm means fourteen-year-old Janie Gorman cannot have a normal high school life, she tries joining Jam Band, making friends with Monster, and spending time with elderly former civil rights workers.

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody Fifteen-year-old Brooklyn has been making bad decisions since, at age two, she became famous for falling down a mine shaft, and so she starts a blog to let others make every decision for her, while her community-service hours are devoted to a woman who insists Brooklyn read her "Choose the Story" books.

 

Monster Recommendations


Vampires, faeries, zombies, ghosts ... 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (book 1 in The Mortal Instruments) Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (book 1 in Forest of Hands and Teeth) Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesheating people who were once dead.

Marked by P.C. Cast (book 1 in House of Night) Set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampires have always existed. She has been Marked as special by the vampire Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.

Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (book 1 in Darkest Powers) After fifteen-year-old Chloe starts seeing ghosts and is sent to Lyle House, a mysterious group home for mentally disturbed teenagers, she soon discovers that neither Lyle House nor its inhabitants are exactly what they seem, and that she and her new friends are in danger.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father's work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz (book 1 in Blue Bloods) Select teenagers from some of New York City's wealthiest and most socially prominent families learn a startling secret about their bloodlines.

Between by Jessica Warman By weaving through her memories and watching the family and friends she left behind, eighteen-year-old Liz Valchar solves the mystery of how her life ended in the Long Island Sound.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier Compulsive liar Micah promises to tell the truth after revealing that her boyfriend has been murdered.

Monster High by Lisi Harrison (book 1 in Monster High) When Frankie enters Merston High School camouflaged as a "normi," all she wants is to fit in, but it takes the help of another new student who believes that everyone should be treated equally before Frankie even has a chance.

Dust by Joan Frances Turner Jessie and her gang of zombies have a wonderful life in "Hicksville", Indiana. But now new beings are in the woods; neither human nor zombies. A new disease has come as well; one that makes the undead more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death.

 

Historical Fiction for Younger Readers



The Seer of Shadows by Avi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

Favorite Sports Fiction


Younger Readers
 

Hoop Girlz by Lucy Bledsoe
 

Skateboard Tough by Matt Christopher
 

Free Baseball by Sue Corbett
 

Force Out by Tim Green
 

Babe and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman
 

Long Shot by Mike Lupica
 

Slumpbuster by Kevin Markey
 

Skinnybones by Barbara Park
 

The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter
 

Slam Dunk by Amar’e Stoudemire

Older Readers
 

Tangerine by Edward Bloor
 

Summerland by Michael Chabon
 

Crackback by John Coy
 

Painting the Black by Carl Deuker
 

Night Hoops by Carl Deuker
 

Running Wild by Thomas Dygard
 

Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein
 

Travel Team by Mike Lupica
 

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen