Bouncing Back
Bouncing Back

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Annotation: Orphaned thirteen year-old Carlos learns what it truly means to be a teammate when he must help save his new wheelchair basketball team's gym from destruction.
Catalog Number: #258368
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 296 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-52476-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9486-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-52476-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9486-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018060496
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal
Gr 37 At Carlos Cooper's old school, he was a basketball star known as Cooper the Hooper. He has been living with his aunt and uncle for the past year, ever since his parents were killed in a car accident that left him paraplegic. Carlos is grateful for their care, but it is very hard to start a new school and especially hard being the new kid in a wheelchair. And the school bully seems to take special delight in taunting him. When Carlos's aunt asks him to take a look at a wheelchair basketball league, he isn't enthused but gives it a shot. The team is welcoming and supportive, and he likes the coach, who also uses a wheelchair. Just as Carlos is settling into this new game, the run-down gym that has been home to the team is shut down by the city. Without the gym, the team's hopes for a state championship are dashed. There's something fishy about the city's move to condemn the building, so Carlos and his teammates do a little investigating on their own. Carlos is a likable, earnest, if preternaturally mature narrator. His transition from able-bodied star to wheelchair athlete is engaging. The issue of his grief is dealt with too quickly, and a side plot involving Coach's health remains underdeveloped. The political machinations behind the closing of the gym and Carlos and the team's investigation veer into "after-school special" territory. VERDICT Enjoyable despite its few flaws. Perfect for middle grade fans of Mike Lupica. Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Thirteen-year-old Carlos lost almost everything in a car accident: his parents, the use of his legs, even his status as a basketball star. Now, his loving aunt wants him to try wheelchair basketball. Carlos is reluctant, because he doesn't consider the game a real sport, and, besides, he sucks. It takes time, but thanks to a wise coach, Carlos improves, learning new strategies and becoming part of his co-ed team. Then comes bad news: the city is going to demolish their beat-up old gym, leaving the kids with no home court. Carlos does a school project on the history of the gym, and inconsistencies begin to pile up. With the help of concerned adults and new friends, Carlos uncovers a conspiracy involving the mayor and a building contractor (who happens to be the father of the school bully). The multi-tiered plot moves quickly, the characters are engaging, and wheelchair basketball is an unusual premise, but the real draw in this debut novel from sportswriter Ostler is the vivid descriptions of basketball action. Of equal interest to kids of all ages, this strikes just the right notes about teamwork, friendship, and acceptance.
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Starred Review ALA Booklist
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal
Word Count: 61,776
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 506389 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 720L
Guided Reading Level: U
Fountas & Pinnell: U

Packed with humor and thrilling sports action, this "wonderful story of friendship and the unique ability of kids to overcome a challenge" (#1 New York Times bestselling author Mitch Albom) "will get in your heart and won't get out" (#1 New York Times bestselling author Mike Lupica).

Back in his old basketball league, before the car accident, thirteen-year-old Carlos Cooper owned the court, sprinting and jumping and lighting up the scoreboard as his opponents (and teammates) watched in amazement. But now, Carlos feels completely out of his league on his new wheelchair basketball team, the Rollin' Rats. After all, how can he make a layup when he's still struggling to learn how to dribble?

But when the city's crooked mayor threatens to tear down the Rollin' Rats' gym, Carlos realizes that he can't stay on the sidelines forever. Because without a gym, the team can't practice, and if they can't practice, they can kiss their state tournament dreams goodbye. If Carlos is going to learn what it truly means to be part of a team and help his new friends save their season, he'll have to either go all-in . . . or get out.

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