A Full Day of Full Court
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763645625, 170pp.
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
Pass! Shoot! Swish! An all-star team of YA authors scores spectacularly with an action-packed anthology about street basketball.
It’s one steamy July day at the West 4th Street Court in NYC, otherwise known as The Cage. Hotshot ESPN is wooing the scouts, Boo is struggling to guard the weird new guy named Waco, a Spike Lee wannabe has video rolling, and virgin Irene is sizing up six-foot-eightand-a-half-inch Chester. Nine of YA literature’s top writers, including Walter Dean Myers, Rita Williams-Garcia, Adam Rapp, Joseph Bruchac, and Sharon Flake reveal how it all goes down in a searing collection of short stories, in which each one picks up where the previous one ends. Characters weave in and out of narratives, perspectives change, and emotions play out for a fluid and fast-paced ode to the game. Crackling with humor, grit, and streetball philosophy, and featuring poems and photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr., this anthology is a slam dunk.
Charles R. Smith Jr. says that while growing up in California, he read anything he could get his hands on. "Reading books filled with stories and poems inspired me to write my own," he says. "The more I read, the more I wrote. And if I wasn't reading a book, I was playing a sport: I played everything, particularly basketball, and spent many afternoons on the court, perfecting my jump shot." While working on his high school yearbook as a writer, Charles R. Smith Jr. was introduced to photography and immediately decided to make a career out of it. He graduated from photography school and headed to New York to pursue his dream. "I continued with my writing, and, with a heavy influence of rap music,
began writing more poetry instead of stories," he says. "Now, I have combined my photographic skills with my love of reading, writing, and sports to create an exciting career for myself!" Among the books the poet-photographer has written and illustrated is RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, which was selected as an American Library Association Notable Children's Book.
Nine all-stars in the field of YA lit contribute stories...an anthology of standalone stories that invite - no, demand - a straight read-through.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Tying all the stories together is a shared love and respect not only for the game itself, but also for the lavishly talented (and all-too-often fatally flawed) legends od New York City playground basketball. An outstanding collection that belongs in every high school library.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Superb stories by writers who know and love the game; and ode to the show.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)