Friday, March 10, 2017
The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. By Kwame Alexander. Illustrated and with photographs Tby Thai Neave. Houghton MIfflin Harcourt, Raincoast. 2017. $20.99 ages 10 and up
"Rule # 24
IF YOU GET NERVOUS
DON'T SWEAT IT.
JUST FULL-C0URT PRESS
Kwame Alexander, as he has done so brilliantly in the past, uses sport to entice middle graders and encourage reading. He uses basketball to motivate his readers to become better people by sharing quotes, poetry and genuine enthusiasm for what they can learn from other successful people.
Separated into four sections (in keeping with the four quarters of a basketball game), with 13 rules for each, he names them Grit, Motivation, Passion, and Teamwork and Resilience. He uses his poems to inspire and motivate his young readers to be the best they can be. He even addresses Overtime with
a look at Lew Alcindor's story, and makes mention of others who have defied the odds of being a star in their sport.
"Rule # 19
WHEN YOU'RE HOT, SHOOT.
WHEN YOU'RE NOT, PASS.
WITH THEIR STRENGTHS."
And then he adds a quote:
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what
-Arthur Ashe, number one world tennis player
(ATP rankings), winner of three Grand Slam titles."
It's a great design, featuring brilliant and appealing black and white photographs and illustrations, often accented with the familiar basketball orange. Perfect for a return read and worthy of our attention. Reluctant middle grade readers, sports fans, and anyone who knows Kwame Alexander's other works will find much to love about this new book! A great gift for a student athlete on your list, or a classroom library.