The cover photo, title, and tagline might lead readers to assume this is a guidebook for improving one’s game of basketball, but not so. That said, the lessons Jay Hirtle learns and shares with his teammates are ones that any sports participant can take to heart. After playing basketball for a rival school the previous year, Jay comes back to the Richmond Academy Rockets to find that his former best friend, Colin, has it in for him. To make matters more stressful, Jay, rather than Colin, has been elected captain of the team. Coach expects Jay to set a stellar example both on and off the court, and Jay wonders how he can live up to this. Kyung, the new student from Seoul, just might have some fresh ideas, but can Jay pull the team together? An abundance of dialogue makes for a fast-paced read with personal angst that rings true. For a look at how racial tensions lead to the same conflict, try Matt Christopher’s The Basket Counts (1968). Grades 5-8. --J. B. Petty
--This text refers to the
"Sylvia Gunnery is an experienced author who very capably fulfills the requirements for Lorimer's Sports Stories series. She supplies fast-paced action, character, and local colour. There is action on and off the court in Game Face
. Not only does Gunnery describe the interaction and plays during practices, but the action climax of the book is a well-described first game of the season, with a complex and well-executed final winning play. As well, she deftly describes the interactions between Colin and Jay. Colin both snubs and attacks Jay, trying to encourage other students to accept his distrust and dislike of Jay, who had formerly been his friend. Many students will recognize Colin's bullying behaviour." Recommended
(Rebecca King CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Jay is a strong character . . . the basketball scenes, from practices to critical games, are excellent and will draw the intended readership into the book. The coaching is firm, goal oriented and upbeat while the basketball action itself is typical, fast paced down to the last second. That all of this can be accomplished while keeping the reading level at grade 3.4 is amazing."
Rated E, excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!
(Joan Marshall Resource Links
"An abundance of dialogue makes for a fast-paced read with personal angst that rings true." (Booklist (U.S.)
"Basketball is elevated to a lofty status in this Sports Stories entry" (Publishers Weekly