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Slam! Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A love of basketball isn't necessary to enjoy this gritty, feelingly told tale, but it would certainly help. Myers (The Glory Field) uses contemporary urban black locutions to relay his narrator's view of the mean streets of Harlem, as well as describe some heart-thumping hoop action in a novel that, like most good sports stories, is about more than just sports. "I can hoop," says Slam. "Case closed.... You can take my game to the bank and wait around for interest." Grandiose fantasies of his future as a millionaire NBA star?or maybe a millionaire movie producer?are about all that he has on his mind, even though he is on his way to flunking out of the magnet high school he just transferred to, his grandmother is dying, his father is out of work and hitting the bottle again and his oldest friend appears to be dealing crack. Only when he is playing basketball does Slam know what moves to make and how to relate to the people around him. The rest of the time he stumbles, alienating his mother, girlfriend, teachers, even his coach and teammates. But, as the plain-speaking assistant coach tells him, "Everybody is in the game off the court," and Slam finally realizes that it's his attitude, not other people, that holds him back. Enduring truths, winningly presented. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-"Basketball is my thing. I can hoop. Case closed." So begins Walter Dean Myers' novel (Scholastic, 1996) which lends itself perfectly to an audio presentation for young adults. Male reluctant readers as well as basketball fans will be captivated with this realistic story in which 17-year-old Greg Harris tells of the year in which he transfers to a magnet school for the arts, a more academically challenging, mostly white school. After being the hot shot star of his Harlem high school team, he has to learn to fit in and be a team player at his new school. He may not be able to do anything about the rest of his life--his relationships with his family and friends, his grandmother's illness, his scholastic difficulties, or what goes on in his Harlem neighborhood--but when he gets onto the basketball court, "Slam" feels in control. Listeners will enjoy this fast-paced, energetic story following Slam's progress as he tries to deal with basketball and life. Myers has created a character and a story that have great appeal for teens, and narrator Thomas Penny skillfully captures this young urban black man's voice. A valuable addition for teen audio collections.-Marilyn Higgins, Metuchen High School, NJ

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 750 (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545055741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545055741
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a great book for a lot of reasons. It really portrayed life on the streets, and that people can either fall or rise above their circumstances. It showed the reality of the streets at times when it talked about people dealing drugs, and at the end, the book tells you how the main character deals with the streets.
This book was about a teenage boy named Greg "Slam" Harris. Everyone in his neighborhood and school called him "Slam" because he was awesome at basketball. During the book, Slam fails to realize that school is very important.All the ever does is think about his girlfriend, or play basketball. He thinks that basketball is his ticket out of the ghetto. But what he doesn't realize is that your attitude toward one thing can effect your attitude toward another aspect of life. His attitude in the classroom relfected his attitude on the court, and he and his coach were always at odds. During the book, Slam deals with the harsh reality of the ghetto when his friend, Benny "Ice" Reese gets involved with drug dealing. Ice was also a great basketball player, regarded my man as the best in the city. He also endures being looked down on by his teachers simply because of the neighborhood that he is from. At the end of the book, Slam's future lies in his own hands, and no one can decide his fate except for him. He will either fall to the streets, or rise above his circumstances.
I really liked this book a lot, because the author really made all the situations seem very real. I felt like I could relate to this book, because I used to not try hard in school, then I realized that school was very important, and having a good attitude was necessary. This book really inspired me to work hard in all areas of life, and it was a very well-written book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think that this book has been one of my favorites book that I have read! This book is awsome for teenagers, cause this book is like a basic life of teenagers dreaming for what they want to be in life. For example this book relates to my life cause I got dreams like "SLAM" did who dreams where to be a famous basketball player, and me been a famous football player. This books also talks about true love and friendship. Slam was messing with two girls (Mtisha & Kicky), which mostly of us guys do this days, which is good and bad. But at the end Slam listen to his heart which his love was Mtisha. Slam was a nice guy with his friends cause he try to help them, cause one of his friend was a crack head, so he didnt like that, and he didnt wanted to be one either. Slam was one of the best player for his school which was Carver in Harlem. At the end of the book Slam scores the winning point which took his team to the CHAMPIONSHIP. Thing that i'm planning to do..hahaha..if I can. Well I hope you guys who read this agree with me, which this book base on life of teenagers.
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By S. S. on May 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
May 9,2001
Slam, written by Walter Dean Myers is a great story about the life of a 17-year-old boy from Harlem. This story is about a young high school boy that loves the game of basketball. His name is Greg Harris, but people call him "Slam" because of his ability to slam the ball. The book exposes some life problems that a regular teenager faces in life, particularly the ones that live in New York City. His grades are not so hot and he seems to make some serious decisions that will make a big difference in his life. This book is a good life story and teaches you some very good lessons. Slam knows he has potential and could be one of the lucky ballplayers to make it to the NBA. But, when he moves to a magnet school, things just start to go downhill. His best friend, Ice, who also has incredible talent in basketball, gets involved with drugs. Slam wants to help, but he has problems of his own. His grades are bad, he doesn't get along with the staff at his school, and the basketball coach doesn't approve with his style of playing basketball. This book does a good job of portraying real-life situations. The reader can really get inside the head of the characters, making the book great. Many teenagers have similar problems, like grades and drugs. A couple times, Slam tires to talk to Ice about his involvement in drugs, but each time Ice finds a way to change the subject. This predicament marks the end of their friendship. Slam knows that he cant get involved with drugs because he has too much on the line to risk. This can be related to real life because sometimes in life you want to help your friends do the right thing, but there is only so much you can do. As the book goes on, things start to work out okay for Slam.
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A Kid's Review on March 22, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Slam by Walter Dean Myers, Slam Harris, living in new York near the hoods, gets his game on with his best friend, Ice. Ice has been his friend, basketball opponent, and a supporter all the time, accept drugs are pulling them apart. Slam goes through some rough parts in his life with his girlfriend, Ice, Grandma, basketball most of all school. Slam tries hard in school, but his sick grandma keeps pushing him to do better, but Slam's mind is on other things. Mitsha, Slam's diehard girlfriend is all he could ever ask for, but one day he feels that their relationship will not last.

I thought the book Slam was an all right book. Some parts of the book were a little slow, meaning I thought there were parts that weren't needed. However, the parts I did liked were about Ice, and Slam's girlfriend. I liked those because they had a great deal of dialog. The book had the effect that you would never guess what was going to next. I'm not a big basketball fan or sports fan when it comes to books, so the book didn't really get the moral to me as well it would people that do like basketball. I think this book is age apropriate for kids int he middle school. The real question is, is Ice dealing drugs in the hood or not? Read it and find out.
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