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.