Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

The Scruffy Rube’s #CBR4 Review #13 Pick-Up Game

You can read this review in the context of my Quest for Curricular Satisfaction at my personal blog.

While The Kayla Chronicles (my previous review) follows a familiar novel structure, Pick-Up Game invents a far more complex intersection of ideas and stories. The basketball-centric collection of short stories seemed like it could appeal to my students (particularly given the tonnage of desktop backgrounds on student laptops and fervor of Durant V. LeBron V. Kobe V. Rose arguments).

A host of popular and prolific young adult writers let stories flow as they follow the action at a New York City public court on one particular summer day. Characters come and go with some staying on the court for two, three, seven stories at a time. But the perspective shifts and the diversity of New York is on full display as African-American, Caucasian, Vietnamese, Native-American, Female and Hispanic characters bring their unique voices into the story-telling.

No one story is a slam-dunk (apologies for the painfully obvious cliche), but they work together beautifully as a team (which is actually a better way to play the game). Each one adds to the depth of the story that came before, until you have a solid connection to Post 9/11 New York, the gender gap in athletics, the way art enhances sport (and vice-versa), and ultimately: the complexity of collaborating with diverse people.

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