Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3235
Life lessons on the basketball court
Overall rating
Writing Style
Jackson O'Connell is going through life in a bit of a daze since one terrible night that split up his family and cost him his friends and his reputation. Senior year could be the end of him, unless he can find a way to get his confidence back--and with the help of his friends and his deep love of basketball, which makes him "feel okay even when everything sucks", he just might.

Hoops of Steel is a winner in every way. The first-person narration is spot-on; completely matter-of-fact yet insightful at the same time, with a healthy dose of humour thrown in. In keeping with the down-to-earth tone, serious themes (such as racism) are treated so calmly that all the fuss seems like no big deal. Author John Foley's love of basketball permeates the book, but so does his love of teaching and learning, and his impressive understanding of human nature comes through, especially in the original and believable characters. In the same way as school movies Dead Poets Society and The History Boys, this novel will touch and inspire readers--and teachers--of all ages.
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