Nikki on the Line
Nikki on the Line
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Annotation: Nikki wants to be a basketball star . . . but between school stress, friend drama, and babysitting woes, will she be abl... more
Genre: [Sports fiction]
Catalog Number: #210936
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 328 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-52189-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-01663-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-52189-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-01663-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018017611
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Nikki has always loved playing basketball, so when she gets the opportunity to play for an elite club team, she is ecstatic. But Nikki finds herself with taller, more athletic girls and playing different positions than she is used to, which causes her to doubt if she has what it takes to make it. Additional challenges creep into her life when her best friend begins spending time with another girl from the team; Nikki has to take care of her younger brother after school; and her science teacher gives an assignment that might force Nikki to reveal her most embarrassing secret r father was a sperm donor. Nikki learns to push herself and succeed where she never thought it possible. She stands up to a competitive team parent, learns to believe in her skill and herself, and figures out how to navigate middle school and personal relationships with vigor and heart. Filled with basketball games, middle-school friendships, and complicated families, this charming and heartfelt debut is perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Kwame Alexander.
Kirkus Reviews
Nikki wants to play sharp on the basketball court, explore the truth about her sperm donor father, and keep her social life afloat—but first she must build the confidence to take a shot.Roberts' debut novel features an inviting first-person perspective from Nikki, an eighth-grader of only medium height who nevertheless makes the cut for a choice basketball league. To afford the pricey team fee, Nikki agrees to watch energetic younger brother Sam every day so her single mom doesn't have to pay for after-school care. The author balances passionate play-by-play from the basketball court with reflective Nikki's efforts to learn about her "Sperm Donor dad." In between practices, homework, and Sam duty, Nikki finds connection with the stories of classmate Booker and (fictional) WNBA hero Mia McCall, who both have experience within non-normative family structures. Middle school growing pains such as friendship strains, crushes, and confidence building are woven into a believable, nontragic character whose experience is underrepresented in children's literature. Pacing is so steady among Nikki's pursuits that it is difficult to pinpoint a clear climax—this may prevent reluctant readers from finishing but will keep invested readers turning pages. Nikki and Booker are both white; their classmates are diverse, indicated mostly with references to skin color, hairstyle, and naming convention.An optimistic middle-grade novel melding heartfelt realistic fiction and sports fare. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 69,717
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 10.0 / quiz: 501289 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 840L
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X

Nikki wants to be a basketball star . . . but between school stress, friend drama, and babysitting woes, will she be able to make it on her new team? Judy Blume meets Mike Lupica in this pitch-perfect, action-packed, and funny novel.

Thirteen-year-old Nikki Doyle's dreams of becoming a basketball great feel within reach when she's selected to play on an elite-level club team. But in a league with taller, stronger, and faster girls, Nikki suddenly isn't the best point guard. In fact, she's no longer a point guard at all, which leaves her struggling to figure out who she is and how she fits in.

The stress piles on as Nikki's best friend spends more and more time with another girl on the team, and when her science teacher assigns a family tree project that will be impossible to complete unless Nikki reveals her most embarrassing secret. As if that's not enough to deal with, to cover the costs of her new team, Nikki has agreed to take care of her annoying younger brother after school to save money on childcare.

As the stakes rise on the basketball court, at school, and at home, Nikki's confidence plummets. Can she learn to compete at this new, higher level? And how hard is she willing to work to find out?

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