Ball Don't Lie
By Matt De La Peña
(Ember, Paperback, 9780385734257, 288pp.)
Publication Date: March 13, 2007
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Sticky is a beat-around-the-head foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, and an outer shell so tough that no one will take him in. He started out life so far behind the pack that the finish line seems nearly unreachable. He’s a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn’t seem to belong.
But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out . . . if he can only realize that he doesn’t have to be the person everyone else expects him to be.
Matt de la Peña's breakout urban masterpiece, Ball Don’t Lie takes place where the street and the court meet and where a boy can be anything if he puts his mind to it.
AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS
AN ALA QUICK PICK FOR RELUCTANT READERS
[STAR] "[An] inspiring story. Sticky is a true original, and de la Peña has skillfully brought him to life."-School Library Journal, Starred
"Riveting...Teens will be strongly affected by the unforgettable, distinctly male voice; the thrilling, unusually detailed basketball action; and the questions about race, love, self-worth, and what it means to build a life without advantages."-Booklist
"Stunningly realistic, this book will hook older readers, especially urban teen males."-Voice of Youth Advocates
"The characters live and breath...This is a must-read."-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"De la Peña does an excellent job of combining the streets with the sport. Gritty and mesmerizing."-Kirkus Reviews
"I have never before seen blacktop ball depicted so well. In this novel, you will find its flash, its power, and its elegance without chains. This is powerful stuff."-Antawn Jamison, forward for the Los Angeles Clippers
"From the very first sentence, this book grabbed me and didn't let go. The deeper I got into it, the more I felt like Sticky's story was my story. His heart, his handle, the guys in the gym, his potential pitfalls, his dreams. All of it. In a weird sense, this is my life."-Grayson Boucher ("The Professor") of tha AND 1 Mix Tape Tour
"Truly authentic in its examination of both the game I love and the invariable missteps toward manhood. You cannot fail to be moved by the eloquence and truth of this story."-Rick Fox, former forward for the Los Angeles Lakers
Ball Don't Lie was Matt de la Peña’s first novel, which was chosen by the American Library Association as both a Quick Pick and Best Book for Young Adults. He attended the University of the Pacific on a basketball scholarship and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at San Diego State University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing. Look for Matt's other books, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, and The Living, all available from Delacorte Press. You can visit him at mattdelapena.com.