From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–In this sequel to The Hoopster
(Hyperion, 2005), readers meet Andre's younger sister. As Theresa makes her way through the racial hotbed of her poverty-stricken L.A. high school, she keeps her eyes on her goal: admission to USC. Devon, a fellow academic in hip-hop clothing, takes her under his wing and they work like fiends to learn all they will need to know to ace their SATs. Then Devon's Harvard hopes are dashed when he is shot in a street fight before he is able to send in his application. With several improbable twists, both Devon and Theresa are admitted to the universities of their dreams. The language in this book is discomfiting. All of the words are familiar (dat, wuzzup, dang), but somehow the dialogue does not ring true. This is highlighted by the insulting lack of sophistication given to Theresa's inner dialogue. When compared to authors who use cultural dialect to great effect, such as Zora Neale Hurston or Janet McDonald, Sitomer's language seems contrived. McDonald, Sharon Flake, and Sharon Draper are better bets for inner-city kids conquering obstacles.–Morgan Johnson-Doyle, Sierra High School, Colorado Springs, CO
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Gr. 10-12. This sequel to The Hoopster
(2005) is narrated by Theresa Anderson, the younger sister of that book's protagonist. Bright and ambitious, Theresa, known as Tee-Ay at her "hip-hop high school," also plays by the social rules, rapping in ghetto slang and trying hard not to "act white": "If you talk too proper, you might get jumped." Covering Tee-Ay's experiences from the start of tenth grade through graduation, the primary focus here is on Tee-Ay's academic life and on her friendships with selfish, mercurial Cee-Saw and thoughtful Sonia Rodriguez. A handful of young men also play parts, including Rickee Dunston, the low-integrity football god, and in greater measure, Devon Hampton, the school scholar. Although Sitomer explores the realities and challenges of urban African American adolescence, he strikes a fair balance between serious issues and more lighthearted fare, writing in a smart, conversational voice loaded with wit, rhythm, and energy. Some exaggerated characters and a fairly implausible ending do little to mar the pleasure of spending time with the dynamic and lovable Tee-Ay. Holly KoellingCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved