>The Hoopster by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

>Andre Anderson, a senior in high school, is busy all the time. When he’s not shooting hoops with friends or going to school, he’s working as an intern for Issues Magazine. He wants to be a writer. When the magazine’s managing editor is dissatisfied with another writer’s perspective on an article, he gives Andre his big break. In just four weeks, Andre is expected to compose a different take on race. He begins to see the world differently. He makes some people, including family members, unhappy. Some of those people become unhappy enough to hurt him.

This is an interesting look at racism through the eyes of a very thoughtful African American teen, who adeptly balances the demands of profession, personal, and family life. Just when you look to paint him into a corner, he shows you a different side altogether. Sitomer does a nice job of moving readers through the ups-and-downs of Andre’s life without getting too melodramatic. Again, I wish publishing companies would place more thought into the cover art for young adult novels. While Andre plays basketball, he is anything but a one-dimensional character whose life is centered around shooting hoops. This book is more about Andre’s internal struggle, both as a writer and an African American growing up in a society where race has allegedly taken a back seat. I foresee far to many reluctant male readers picking the book up because they think it’s about basketball, only to be baited and switched. If they give up too soon, which reluctant readers are known to do, they’ll miss a very thoughtful story.

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Filed under basketball, hate groups, racism, The Hoopster, young adult literature

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