Ever since his sudden move from the city to the suburbs, the one place Jeremy feels at home is on the basketball court. But North Bridge is not like any place Jeremy has ever played before. Back home, there would be twenty or thirty kids and maybe three or four balls. He'd wait for a ball, pick a spot, and shoot. Here the kids didn't have to wait at all. Balls were flying everywhere. Jeremy even saw two jerks get hit in the head because there were so many balls.
And the parents. They were always there, and there were so many of them -- at the clinics ... at the tryouts ... everywhere. Who's playing anyway?
Maybe if Jeremy wasn't displaced and living with his grandmother, he'd feel as though he fit in. Jeremy figures the only way out is to take the car and leave. Just walk away from his teammates, Hank and Nathan, and Anabel. It's just a game, after all, isn't it?
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Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows, Almost Home, and Basketball (or Something Like It). She grew up in Brooklyn and New Paltz, New York, and currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8 - Many young basketball players will relate to this story about parents living vicariously through their children's athletic endeavors. In alternating chapters, four sixth graders tell their own stories about how sports affects their lives. Hank is made miserable by the pressure and expectations placed on him by his parents. Nathan desperately wants to play and lies in order to try out for the team because his father's agenda doesn't include sports. Annabel is brushed aside by her father, whose focus is on her brother and his playing time. Jeremy, the best player on the team, has been dumped at his grandmother's by his father's girlfriend. The day these four find themselves in detention together, where they learn about one another's situations, is the turning point of the novel. In the final game of the season, Jeremy's plan to run away is thwarted by a true gesture of friendship from Hank. Hank's parents make an unrealistic turnabout, admiring their son's plot to sit the bench so Jeremy can play. Nathan and his family reconcile their differences about sports, and Annabel becomes the star of the girl's high school basketball team. Even though the plot is predictable, the author's point comes through loud and clear. - Julie Webb, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville, KY
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