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Boy21by Matthew Quick
Synopses & Reviews
My name is Julio Ramirez Jr. and baseball is my whole life.
Since he was ten, Julio has lived in the shadow of his famous father. Not just because Julio Senior is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins, but because he fled Cuba to play professional baseball, leaving his Julio and his mother and sister branded as the family of a traitor.
Now sixteen, Julio dreams of playing for Cubas national team—until he finds out his father's defection may destroy his chances. When hes given the opportunity to flee Cuba, he has to make the toughest choice of his life. Can he abandon his family, just like his Papi did? Will freedom be worth the perilous journey and risking prison if hes caught? Will his Papi be waiting for him on the other shore—or, with the Marlins in the World Series against the Yankees, has Julio Senior forgotten about his son?
Set against the backdrop of the Series on which everything depends, Game Seven is a suspenseful story of loyalty, survival, and baseball.
"High school senior Finley has always hoped that his basketball skills will help him escape the dead-end streets of Bellmont, a racially divided town outside Philadelphia, where his future seems bleak. As the only white guy on his school's basketball team, Finley is acutely aware of the uneasy relationship between Bellmont's substantial Irish- and African-American populations. Then Finley's coach introduces him to Russ, a black teenager who, ever since his parents were murdered, has retreated into a strange internal world, claiming to be an extraterrestrial known as Boy21. As Finley and Boy21's friendship slowly strengthens, they help each other change and grow; both boys attempt to understand past tragedies in their lives, as well as a new one involving Finley's girlfriend, Erin, which further disrupts Finley's understanding of the world. As in Sorta Like a Rock Star, Quick comes perilously close to overstuffing his story with offbeat characters and brutal twists of fate. Yet his emotionally raw tale retains a delicate sense of hope and optimism, making it a real gut punch of a read. Ages 12 — up. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
High school senior point guard Jonas Dolan is on the fast track to a basketball career until an unthinkable choice puts his future on the line.
Levi was simple, like a child. It was the best thing about him, and it was the worst, too.
When high school senior Jonas moves to Seattle, he is glad to meet Levi, a nice, soft-spoken guy and fellow basketball player. Suspense builds like a slow drumbeat as readers start to smell a rat in Ryan Hartwell, a charismatic basketball coach and sexual predator. When Levi reluctantly tells Jonas that Hartwell abused him, Jonas has to decide whether he should risk his future career to report the coach. Pitch-perfect basketball plays, well-developed characters, and fine storytelling make this psychological sports novel a slam dunk.
You can lose yourself in repetition--quiet your thoughts; I learned the value of this at a very young age.Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights, and Finley is left to take care of his disabled grandfather alone. He's always dreamed of getting out someday, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay.
Russ has just moved to the neighborhood, and the life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, but answers only to the name Boy21--taken from his former jersey number.
As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, a unique friendship may turn out to be the answer they both need.
About the Author
Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the author of The Silver Linings Playbook (Sarah Crichton Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and three young adult novels, Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Little, Brown and Co.). His work has received many honors--including a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention--been translated into many languages, and called "beautiful...first-rate" by The New York Times Book Review. The Weinstein Company and David O. Russell have adapted The Silver Linings Playbook into a film starring Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Matthew lives in Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Alicia Bessette. His website is www.matthewquickwriter.com.
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