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Game by Walter Dean Myers
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Game (2008)

by Walter Dean Myers

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Only 3 percent of high school basketball players go on to play for a college. Game by Walter Dean Myers is about one boy who thinks that he can beat those odds. It follows him all throughout senior year as he recounts the challenges of everything from annoying little sisters to dealing with racism in a modern day era.

Drew is seventeen and college is looming above him. He has always loved basketball, but now it is even more important. If he is to be able to afford an education, he needs a scholarship. He has never done well in school, and sports are his only hope. Game is about one teenager trying to survive school, his family, teammates and everything else life throws at him, all while trying to win the championship to get noticed by a college. He has been doing pretty well, too, until his coach, House starts to favor a new white kid, Thomas. Everyone notices, and Drew starts to get worried. Thomas is taking over all of Drew’s time in the game, and who is going to want him playing for them when he is always sitting on the bench? Thomas is threatening everything he has worked hard to build, and with the championship coming up, Drew really needs some playing time. It just might decide his future.

Game is designed as a teenage-boy read, and it is written like one, as well. Myers has clearly lost touch with the slang and speech pattern of today’s teens, and it shows in his book. There are many parts where the reader can’t understand what he is even talking about. Other than that, the book has more basketball scenes than anything else, and he doesn’t go out of his way to explain what is going on during them to the people who don’t play basketball themselves. Since those parts make up more than half of the book, most readers will be confused the entire time they are reading because of it. There really isn’t a plot to the book, and the ending doesn’t come as a surprise. None of the characters progress at all through the book, and they don’t have to overcome any obstacles or are presented with any challenges. All in all, don’t read this book unless you love basketball and don’t care about plot or anything but flat characters. ( )
  br14saal | Oct 29, 2013 |
I am not a sports person. I found those parts of the book a bit more confusing then someone who knows basketball would.
That said, this book was excellent. ( )
  faither | Apr 9, 2013 |
MSBA Nominee 2009-2010

I liked this book, and for a Myers book, it was very cheery, but I have to admit I don't understand/care for basketball, so I think that it would be better for someone who really was interested in the sport. ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Senior Andrew Lawson knows that he has great basketball skills- enough to see the team to a championship and get a scholarship to go to college. However, when two new players join the team and get the coach's attention, Drew has to learn to keep his cool and play like a team.

One of the main themes in the story is determination. Drew is determined to make good choices, unlike so many young men in his Harlem neighborhood. He knows he does not want to hang out with the wrong people like his friend's brother who ended up in jail. He is also determined to win the basketball championship and be chosen to play at a college. His dream is to be a NBA player, but for right now, he has to focus on one game at a time. Drew must learn to deal with his frustration and disappointment when his coach focuses his attention on the new players, otherwise he could mess up his chances at playing ball in college. Although he knows he has to be a team player who can be coached, he finds it difficult to understand his coach's choices and get along with his teammates. He learns that he must get along with his team, but does not have to be best friends with all of them. Throughout the story, Drew continues to mature, although he is sometimes messes up. This is a great book for those who like basketball, those who want to read about a story about not giving up, and for those who are interested in the power of individual choices.

Honors and Awards: Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice
  jessica.kohout | Apr 13, 2010 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Drew Lawson lives and breathes basketball. He plans to use basketball as his ticket out of Harlem, and everyone knows it. The problems start when Coach "House" Hauser changes the game plan.

The Lawson family is a bit unusual for their neighborhood. Drew is lucky to have both a mom and dad living under the same roof, and although money is a struggle, both parents work. He and his sister have been raised to value life and set high goals. News from their neighborhood only makes the paper when it is bad news. Shootings, stabbings, and robberies are the usual stories, and Drew's mother frets when those stories involve young people.

The Chargers basketball team could offer Drew a chance at a better life. He is a decent player and has his sights set on playing Division I college ball in hopes of being a future NBA player. As a star Chargers' player, it just might be possible. Unfortunately, it seems that Coach House has other plans.

It is mid-season and suddenly Coach House has brought in two new players - a couple of white players. That doesn't bother Drew and his team too much until it becomes evident that Coach plans to start these new players in positions that clearly threaten Drew's game. What is Coach trying to do? Is there a method to his madness or is Drew's future at stake?

GAME is set in Walter Dean Myers' home territory in Harlem, and is filled with his trademark characters and plenty of action. Readers hear Drew's story in between bouts of realistic play-by-play basketball scenes. Myers fans as well as basketball lovers will find this a satisfying read. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060582960, Paperback)

Drew Lawson knows basketball is taking him places. It has to, because his grades certainly aren't. But lately his plan has run squarely into a pick. Coach's new offense has made another player a star, and Drew won't let anyone disrespect his game. Just as his team makes the playoffs, Drew must come up with something big to save his fading college prospects. It's all up to Drew to find out just how deep his game really is.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

If Harlem high school senior Drew Lawson is going to realize his dream of playing college, then professional, basketball, he will have to improve at being coached and being a team player, especially after a new--white--student threatens to take the scouts' attention away from him.… (more)

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