Fast Break

Mike Lupica
From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw comes a feel-good basketball tale reminiscent of The Blind Side. Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates.Jayson, at first, is combatative, testing the Lawtons' patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson's new life is so ready to trust him--and even Jayson's old friends give him a hard time now that he's attending a school full of rich kids. It's on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadium–home to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing bigtime college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.In the tradition of uplifting stories like The Blind Side, Fast Break has all the family-friendly sports action Mike Lupica has become known and loved for.Praise for Fast Break"Eager fans will find this a slam-dunk. A must-purchase."–Booklist 


Reviewed: 2018-12-23

I picked this one expecting it to be a "boy's book" that might be suitable for my library. Well, I was partially correct. The book definitely targets young male readers, who are statistically non-readers. But what I didn't expect was how much I would enjoy the writing and the story. Mike Lupica is rightly praised for his "lean prose." This story had me rooting for Jayson the whole time. I appreciated too how it included a twist on the "white savior" narrative by having this white boy from the ghetto be taken in by a stable, nurturing black family. So, yes, aspects of class and race are included but not overdone. 

This is definitely one to include in my English language library in Mexico. I will now be on the lookout for a similarly engaging story with a budding futbol (soccer) star. I need to include titles on topics that will engage young male language learners. This fits that need. 

Biblioteca Inglesa de Fortin 
(English Library of Fortin)
Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz, Mexico

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