Book Review: Ball Don't Lie

Ball Don't Lie by Matt de la Pena (NEW!)

SUMMARY: Sticky is a beat-around-the-head foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, and an outer shell so tough that no one will take him in. He started out life so far behind the pack that the finish line seems nearly unreachable. He’s a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn’t seem to belong. But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out...if he can only realize that he doesn’t have to be the person everyone else expects him to be. (from the inside flap)

OPINION: I don't play basketball. I don't watch basketball. I don't even like basketball. But this book hooked me, despite being totally focused on...you guessed it...basketball. The writing about basketball, about Sticky, and about the streets is completely amazing. It is not a "feel-good" book, full of sweetness and happy endings. But it is REAL in a way that many other books are not. It doesn't preach or judge, it just tells it like it is. This is one of the best teen books written this year, and I expect to see it on all kinds of lists for 2005...maybe even the Printz.

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