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Next (D-Bow High School Hoops) Paperback – December 3, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: D-Bow High School Hoops
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935955659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935955658
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Derrick Bowen is ready to be the star of his high school basketball team. He was a hero in middle school, but senior Nick Starks isn't about to concede his starting point-guard position. Even when Derrick outperforms him, the coach continues to start Nick, and uses Derrick to sub for other starters. Derrick's uncle, a former Marion East player who still blames Coach Bolden for getting in the way of his own basketball dreams, tries to convince his nephew to transfer to Hamilton Academy, an elite school in the Indianapolis suburbs that is actively recruiting the 6-foot, 3-inch inner-city freshman. Derrick is tempted, especially since Hamilton is including a job offer for his dad. But as he gets to know Coach Bolden better, Derrick realizes that the old coach is pushing him out of his comfort zone to make him a better player. After a sloppy start to their season, the Marion East guys finally accept what Bolden has been trying to teach them: that as long as they're looking for individual glory, they're never going to play their best. The group slowly meshes into a team, and Derrick comes to appreciate the deeper camaraderie with his teammates over the flash that Hamilton offers. Readers will appreciate the fully fleshed-out characters and authentic dialogue. The blend of sports action and relationships holds tremendous appeal for basketball fans and reluctant readers, although those who are not familiar with the game may have trouble understanding the jargon. A solid choice for fans of Paul Volponi and Walter Dean Myers.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“Waltman’s series opener (first of a planned four) features plenty of basketball action fueled by hoops slang that will set basketball-mad readers right onto the court … The author avoids slam-dunk answers, leaving readers poised for the next book. Like Derrick, this series is off to a promising high school career.”—Kirkus Reviews

“packed with … action, but also impressively multifaceted, as it examines neighborhood rivalries, the tremendous pressures that come with making one's first adult decisions, and the values of both teamwork and individuality.” —Publishers Weekly

STARRED REVIEW "The book bypasses the customary convolutions in this sharply honed drama, making D-Bow’s story even more realistic and engaging for its sheer credibility. There are no good guys or bad guys here, no crimes or even bad decisions, just the strenuous effort of personal discipline and team-building that any athlete D-Bow’s age might encounter. Waltman’s acute ear for dialogue and effortless mastery at describing extended plays add the flash and velocity to keep readers fully invested in the outcome of the raggedy season."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"In 'Next,' Waltman's third novel, he has created a more accurate picture of Hoosier basketball and done so with considerable elegance and authority, and without stereotypes."—Tuscaloosa News

More About the Author

Kevin Waltman was born in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and spent his teens and twenties in Indiana--time spent mostly around basketball courts and political events. He moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2001 to get his MFA in fiction at The University of Alabama. There, he met his wife, Jessica Kidd. He now lives in Coker, Alabama, with Jessica, their daughter Calla, and their dog Henry. He teaches. He writes. He gardens. He cuts kudzu from their woods.

He is the author of three y.a. novels: Nowhere Fast, Learning the Game, and Next. Slump--the sequel to Next--is due out in late 2014.

You can see more about Kevin, or find teaching guides to some of his work, at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I will admit that sports books are outside of my comfort zone. I'm a vampire and alternate reality type of girl, but I will say that Waltman's Next: D'Bow's High School Hoops drew me in with great dialogue and the kind of break-neck action that has you waiting on the end of your seat and skipping to the next page to see what will happen next, and this is despite my little knowledge of basketball terminology, and that's saying quite a bit. I was four chapters in before I figured out a "bucket" was a good thing.

Derrick Brown is the next rising start at Marion East High, the struggling inner city school on the wrong side of town. His coach is hard on him, mostly because he can see potential, but Derrick bristles. When Hamilton East, the preppy private school in the "nice" part of town comes calling Derrick can't help but listen, especially when they thrown in a few perks to sweeten the deal, but after a full season of sweat and tears with his team can he just transfer and turn friends into enemies?

You can kind of get an idea of what Derrick will choose early on, but it's a nice ride and it's a quick pick for anyone who is interested in basketball. What's also great is that while the dialogue is completely on point there was no effort to dumb down the content for the reader. This is a mistake that I see too often with sports books and books targeted for boys, especially boys of color.

Pick it up!
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Format: Hardcover
YA novelist Kevin Waltman tosses NEXT into the air at mid-court to kick off a three-part series about a rising high school basketball star, and comes smashing back to the floor with a strong first possession. In NEXT, Derrick Bowen is a 6’3” freshman at Marion East, a rough-and-tumble high school in inner-city Indianapolis where basketball reigns supreme and academics lag. As the star of his middle school team for the past two years, Derrick --- or D-Bow, as his friends and family know him --- knows the meaning of hard work, but he still expects to lock down the starting point guard spot on the varsity team.

As the season begins --- and progresses --- with D-Bow still playing as a reserve point, he must make a difficult decision: stay at Marion East and continue working with a tough coach who won’t accept his potential, or transfer to Hamilton Academy, the rivalry high school with a dynamite team and a coach who’s grappling at Derrick’s feet.

Waltman is in his prime while writing scenes of sports action, using powerful imagery and basketball lingo to transport the reader from the comfort of his or her respective couch to the cold, metal bleachers of the Marion East gymnasium. Although the basketball jargon and terms may not appeal to non-sports fiction fans, Waltman sets a pace for NEXT that is both compelling and addictive.

As a protagonist, D-Bow is a complex and thoughtful teenager trying to juggle his love for basketball with family woes and girl problems. NEXT concludes, fittingly, at the end of Derrick’s first season on the Marion East varsity team. Throughout the course of the novel, Waltman made many plays, so to speak, to capture the reader’s attention, but his greatest tactic leaves the reader flipping the last page with an eagerness for the second book.
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