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Rebound by Bob Krech


by Bob Krech

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Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Ray Wisniewski is growing up in the Polish-American town of Greenville, New Jersey. His game is basketball, but he is in the minority. All the black kids play basketball. Ray's supposed to be into wrestling like the white kids.

Basketball - Ray lives and breathes basketball. He plays pick-up games and organized ball, whatever kind of game he can rustle up. His only disappointment is that he has never been able to make the varsity team. He tries out and plays his best, but Coach Malovic never picks him. Finally, during Ray's senior year a new coach is hired, and Ray is suddenly one of the starting five.

Another surprise is the attention Ray is getting from the cutest and most popular girl in school, Stacy. He never considered even talking to her -- much less dating her -- but his luck is changing. It isn't until his first date with Stacy that Ray begins to realize that some people are bothered by the fact that he has perhaps crossed some sort of line by playing basketball instead of choosing the more "white" path of joining the wrestling team. Even Walter, his best friend, seems to be keeping his distance.

Early on, REBOUND is non-stop basketball action. Bob Krech shows Ray playing constantly in an effort to make the high school team. As the book progresses, another dimension begins to appear -- prejudice. Racial tension begins to rear its ugly head between players, friends, coaches, and parents. Ray finds out that not everyone is happy with just basketball and the competition on the court. The real world and its sometimes hateful nature cast a shadow over his success.

Readers who enjoy good basketball play-by-play action will be hooked at the beginning of REBOUND. Hopefully, they will connect with Ray as a person, too, and stick around to see what lurks beneath the surface of the basketball action. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
When we think of discrimination juxtaposed against the sport of basketball, many images may spring to mind. I doubt, however, whether many would think of the discrimination levied against Ray, a Polish basketball player, tired of being type cast as a wrestler! Ray Wisniewski lives in a tight Polish community. Wrestling is king in his neighborhood, but Ray dreams of and works to play basketball. This book will be popular with teens, especially those who love sports books. It also does a very creditable job dealing with several different aspects of racism. I appreciate the juxtaposition of cultural identity and loyalty with ethical considerations. I also appreciate the fact that this book takes "Black" basketball and turns it into a skill that requires hard work, practice, and dedication far more than black skin. These factors allow me to overlook some problems with incomplete characterizations, such as Coach Malovic and a choppy pace. Give this one to the student who loves Slam, Black and White, or Ball Don’t Lie.

If you like books about sports with some drama, this book is perfect. This kid Ray wants to get on his varsity basket ball team and the coach won't let him. Check this book out with some sports interest. Q3P3 AHS/Conner C
  edspicer | Nov 24, 2007 |
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"They told me that it was all black and white
There's so many shades I can see boys."

- Graham Parker, "Back to Schooldays"
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The tiles on the locker-room floor felt like rows of little ice cubes under my bare feet.
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Determined to make the varsity basketball team, seventeen-year-old Ray finds his efforts to play both hindered and helped by the atmosphere of racism in his town.

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