Doing It All! Stat: Home Court by Amar'e Studemire
I looked right at him and said, “Wanna bet?” I waited a few seconds until the court was quiet. I wanted everyone to hear this.
“Make it, take it,” I said.
“Sure,” said Carlos.
“I mean the court.” I said.
“Huh?” he said.
“Whoever wins gets the court,” I said. “Loser clears out for good.”
Eleven-year-old Amare figures he has nothing to lose. Those big, rough kids from outside the neighborhood have already taken over the court where Amare’s friends have always played basketball for fun after school. They are three hulks from a traveling team who don’t mind using their elbows and tripping anybody with the ball if they dare get into a game with them, and emboldened, Carlos, Yeti, and Ledge feel like they own the court now, while the rest of the kids have no place to take their game
Amare likes basketball, but he’s got a lot going on off the court as well. He likes being on the honor roll at school, skateboarding, and working for pay with his dad’s business on weekends. He doesn’t need this problem. But he knows his friends Mike and Deuce love to play. Now push has come to shove, and Amare knows that it’s game on or give up.
NBA star Amare Stoudemire is doing for basketball what Ken Griffey, Jr., is doing for baseball novels for middle readers. In this semi-autobiographical novel , STAT: Standing Tall and Talented #1: Home Court (Scholastic Press, 2012), author Stoudemire shows that he’s got a lot going on, too. A fast-paced and authentic story of a pre-teen urban kid trying to find who he is on and off the court, the author provides plenty of play-by-play drama without stinting on the importance of peer friendships and family loyalties in that all-important maturational task of making choices. Told in first-person narrative with well-written dialogue and characterizations, this is a fine beginning to a sports fiction series for middle readers.
Just published (and just in time for Christmas gifting) other books in this promising series are STAT: Standing Tall and Talented #2: Double Team and STAT #3: Slam Dunk: Standing Tall and Talented.