HOOPERS

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For ninth grader Jojo Antwi, basketball is life. He spends his days hanging with his two best friends, Brendo and Jose, freestyle rapping and shooting hoops. Jojo thinks his skills are top tier, and he proudly shows this off to his social media following every chance he gets. He also has his eyes set on making the varsity basketball team at his school but soon learns that accomplishing that won’t be as easy as he expected. When strict new arrival Coach Pritchard comes along and instantly starts pointing out the ways Jojo needs to improve his attitude and athleticism, Jojo is none too pleased. Coach P is intent on helping Jojo live up to his potential, but Jojo’s pride may not be able to withstand his methods. Will he be able to step things up enough, on and off the court, to be taken seriously as a hooper? Boateng uses a lot of basketball lingo, which will appeal to readers who are fans of the game. The overall themes and lessons of diligence and perseverance are clear and easy to grasp, and the plotlines, pacing, and length make this highly accessible to reluctant readers.

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