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Friday, March 9, 2018

Hooper by Geoff Herbach

 I just can't say enough good things about this book.  I absolutely loved it.  Geoff Herbach has given us a novel that is not only about basketball, but about so many other things in life, like family, friendship, love, integrity, compassion, self-discovery, and so many others topics.  I flew through this one and never wanted to put it down, and when I did I always itched for that moment to pick it back up. 

 Herbach tells the story of Adam Reed, a high school sophomore, who has quickly become one of the top basketball players in Minnesota.  On the court he is outgoing and passionate,  but once he steps off the hardwood, he is quiet, reserved, and very unsure of who he really is.  We learn about the difficult past he had as a child in Poland, but also see the beauty in the woman who has adopted him and given him a wonderful life in the United States.

Through his friendship, and eventual budding romance, with Carli Anderson, a fellow classmate and basketball phenom, he starts to find his voice.  But it is his inclusion on the top AAU basketball program in the state that really helps Adam figure out who he is and what he stands for.

Hooper is beautiful and captivating and heartwarming.  I had heard so many good things about this book from the likes of Andrew Smith and Gae Polisner that I knew I had to give it a read.  And I am so glad I did.  It was amazing.  Not to mention there are several references to Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, two of my favorite NBA players and two Kansas Jayhawks!

From Amazon:

From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.

But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.

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