Hoop Queens 2

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Hoop Queens 2
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Release Date
May 07, 2024
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Charles R. Smith Jr. brings his high-energy verse to praise a new generation of WNBA basketball stars, paired with dynamic photos of the players in action.

Are your moves as smooth as A’ja Wilson’s? Do you make the game look effortless like Sue Bird? Are you a complete player like Candace Parker? A scoring machine like Diana Taurasi? Whether it’s the towering Brittney Griner, or Elena Delle Donne doing her thing, or Breanna Stewart with her big bag of tricks, Charles R. Smith’s indomitable wordplay revels in the superb talents of thirteen of the best female players in basketball. Matched with kinetic, stylized photos of the players, these upbeat poems capture the elite agility and skills the professionals bring to the game. End notes delve into how the author uses a variety of poetic forms and language to spotlight each athlete.

Featuring the players:
Sue Bird
Liz Cambage
Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins-Smith
Brittney Griner
Jonquel Jones
Nneka & Chiney Ogwumike
Candace Parker
Breanna Stewart
Diana Taurasi
Courtney Vandersloot
A’Ja Wilson

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Energetic Ode to Female Athletes
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Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Hoop Queens 2 celebrates the top female athletes in basketball through poetry. The poetry flows so easily that it makes for a quick read. The poetry is smooth on the tongue so I must point out just how much knowledge about each of these athletes the author had to have to be able to personalize the style to reflect the uniqueness of each player.
I can see this book being a favorite among sports fans and an especially helpful resource in a unit of poetry. So much poetry seems to be about nature and then children are asked to make their own and if you live in the city the topics may not come easily to mind. I can see this book being an inspiration on how to take a topic of interest and the desired style of poetry and create something new and unique. The cutout photos of in-the-moment plays show the intensity that these top athletes bring to the game. I love that it shines a light on female athletes and shows you how impressive they are with the poetry full of praise and hype for their skills. Overall, this is an energetic ode to female athletes great for Middle-Grade readers.
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Sports poetry at its best
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Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
This large format picture book has two page spreads with nice, large pictures of the players and their names in large letters across the top, with difference styles of poems for each player. There are thirteen different players mentioned, including Kiz Cambage, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, and the Ogwumike sisters. At the end of the book, there are short explanations of why Smith choose the different poetic forms and elements for each player.

Good Points
With renewed interest in the Women's National Basketball Association, there might be students wanting to know more about WNBA players. This isn't quite the book for biographical information, but they poems are quite fun to read. I wish that there had been a brief listing of facts; the only players I knew were Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner, so I'm not even sure when the women included played. Since there is a previous version of this book from 2003, I assume that the players listed are current ones.

Smith's poems are always fun to read, and this book would make a great companion to Kwame Alexander's The Crossover, since the two authors have a somewhat similar bouncy, free verse style that lends itself to describing basketball. Smith has also written Hoop Kings 1 and 2, as well as Soccer Queens. This would make an excellent gift for a young WNBA fan, perhaps wrapped in a Caitlyn Clark jersey!
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