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The Outside Shot

by

The Outside Shot Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Lonnie Jackson leaves Harlem for a basketball scholarship to a midwestern college, he know he must keep his head straight and his record clean. That's the only way he'll have a chance of making it to the pros someday.

But his street smarts haven't prepared him for the pressures of tough classes, high-stakes college ball, and the temptation to fix games for local gamblers. Everyone plays by a whole new set of rules — including Sherry, who's determined to be a track star. Her independence attracts Lonnie, but their on-again, off-again relationship is driving him crazy.

Lonnie has one year to learn how to make it as a "college man." It's his outside shot at a bright future. Does he have what it takes?

Synopsis:

Recruited by a small midwestern college to play basketball, a Harlem boy has many new experiences, including working with a child who needs physical therapy and dealing with corruption in college sports.

About the Author

Born in Marinsburg, West Virginia in 1937, Walter Dean Myers is one of the premier authors of books for children. His mother died very early in his life-an event that propelled him into experiences that later influenced him to write. It was difficult for Myers' father to raise eight children alone, and eventually, a nearby couple, Herbert and Florence Dean, took in three-year old Walter and moved to Harlem, New York. "Harlem became my home and the place where my first impressions of the world were set," says Myers.

 

As a child, Myers went to school in his neighborhood and attended bible school almost every day of the week. Myers had a speech impediment which made communicating difficult for him, and often found himself in fights, defending himself against kids who taunted him. After a while, one of this teachers suggested to his class that they could write something to read aloud. Young Myers began writing poetry to give voice to his thoughts and feelings, and at age sixteen, won a prize in an essay contest and a set of encyclopedias for a long narrative poem. Later, his father bought him a used typewriter, which he used to churn out a seemingly endless stream of stories.

 

Along with the many things he was discovering about himself, Myers was also learning how to survive. One day he had the courage to break up a fight between three gang members and a kid who had just moved into the neighborhood. He became a marked man-and felt his life was in danger.

 

For example, once, he was sitting in the tree in Morningside Park, across from the building he lived in, reading O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, when some gang members spotted him and surrounded the tree. Myers jumped to the ground, flashed a stiletto in order to fend them off, and made a mad dash for his building. He escaped, but he never forgot the incident. Later he enlisted in the army, got married, had a child, went through a turbulent creative struggle, got divorced, got married again-and during all of this, kept writing, whether his work pleased him or not.

 

But Walter Dean Myers' life is not the story of a tormented, embittered artist. Rather it is the story of a gifted, complex person committed to sharing that gift with young readers. Myers' stories and novels paint a powerful picture of the pressures of growing up on big city streets. Yet, he emphasizes close relationships, trust, and personal growth.

 

It seems that one of Myers' greatest struggles was to understand what type of writer he wanted to be. As the years passed and his books became more and more popular, Walter Dean Myers came to believe that his work filled a void for African American youths who yearned for positive reading experiences and role models. He frequently writes about children who share similar economic and ethnic situations with his own childhood. "But my situation as a parent did not mirror that of my childhood," he says. "While my parents were quite poor, my children are thoroughly entrenched in the middle class experience. To them African prints go well with designer jeans, pizzas go down easier to a reggae beat, and shopping malls are an unmistakable part of their culture."

 

It is clear that Myers' understanding of both the world he was raised in and the world of his children allows him to bring an authority to his work that resonates with his young readers. It is one of many attributes that has made him one of the most important children's and young adult authors writing today. Among his many honors are two Newbery Honor books for Scorpions and Somewhere in the Darkness. He is also a two-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for Now Is Your Time! and Fallen Angels. In addition, Myers has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature.

 

Myers' novel, Darnell Rock Reporting, is a warm and humorous story about thirteen-year-old Darnell Rock-a boy who works on his school newspaper. The book is sure to appeal to reluctant readers. Myers' recent picture book, How Mr. Monkey Saw the Whole World, is a cautionary fable about a watchful monkey who sees that a greedy buzzard gets his comeuppance.

 

Myers recent work, 145th Street: Short Stories (A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book) captures the heartbeat of one memorable block in Harlem, New York. These powerful, often gripping stories range from humor and celebration to terror and grief.

 

Walter Dean Myers, the father of three grown children, lives with his wife in Jersey City, New Jersey.

 

 

 

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Panye6, June 5, 2007 (view all comments by Panye6)
Lonnie Jackson in The Outside Shot by Walter Dean Myers makes a lot of difficult decisions. He first gets a basketball scholarship to play a Monteclare State in Indiana. Lonnie is originally from Harlem, ?Everything had its place. I never figured mine to be in no Indiana, though? Lonnie dreams of being a NBA player one day. His first step is Monteclare, where he meets his friends, a girl, a coach, and a mental kid.
He meets his soon to be new friends Colin, Juice, and Sly, in their dorm room where they will all be staying. They are all red shirt freshman. Which means they sit out one year and practice with the team and try to develop more.
In an American History class he meets his new teacher who doesn?t like athletes, and a girl named Sherry who's determined to be a track star. They first meet by her asking Lonnie to be a part of a study about black athletes. Her independence attracts Lonnie, but their on-off relationship is driving him crazy.
Lonnie also experiences a lot of struggles in the book. For example he had to work with one of his patients named Eddie. Eddie doesn?t talk much but once Lonnie picks up a basketball Eddie talks and plays one-on-one vs. him and makes a couple baskets. Eddies mom is way over protective and Lonnie can?t stand her. She questions everything he does, and thinks all the kid needs is not so much attention. I recommend this book
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780440967842
Author:
Myers, Walter Dean
Publisher:
Laurel Leaf Library
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Children's fiction
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Ethnic - African American
Subject:
Afro-americans
Subject:
Universities and colleges
Subject:
Basketball
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
Basketball -- Fiction.
Subject:
People & Places - United States - African-American
Subject:
Children s-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Laurel Leaf Books
Series Volume:
390
Publication Date:
19861231
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
6.86x4.24x.53 in. .21 lbs.
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Sports and Outdoors » Sports Fiction » Basketball
Children's » Sports and Outdoors » Sports Fiction » General
Young Adult » General

The Outside Shot New Mass Market
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Product details 192 pages Laurel-Leaf Books - English 9780440967842 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Recruited by a small midwestern college to play basketball, a Harlem boy has many new experiences, including working with a child who needs physical therapy and dealing with corruption in college sports.
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