Friday, July 11, 2014

Swagger by Carl Deuker

Jonah is a star basketball player but he is surprised when his coach suggests that he might be able to go to college on a scholarship.  Jonah's plans appear to be in jeopardy, however, when his family is forced to move to a new town for his senior year and Jonah doesn't know if he'll even be able to play on the new team.  Before school starts he meets Levi, a nice, quiet boy who also plays basketball.  The two friends go to the rec center every day to play and that's where they meet Ryan Hartwell, an adult who ends up being their assistant coach when school starts.  Hartwell is dynamic and encouraging to all the players and he really gets the fast game Jonah excels at as opposed to their elderly head coach.  Hartwell is also very friendly with all the boys - having them over to his house to watch movies and sometimes to drink.  When Levi is in danger of failing some classes Hartwell offers to tutor him.  Levi's grades go up but he becomes withdrawn and angry but refuses to talk to Jonah about what has happened.  This book starts as a typical sports story but ends up bringing so much more to the table in a slow-building way.  It is a book that has grown on  me since I finished it.