Synopses & Reviews
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.
* "The answers here are satisfying but never simple...A story that, like Finley, expresses a lot in relatively few words."--Kirkus, starred review
"Beautiful...It is this depth that makes "Boy21" more than a first-rate novel fueled by basketball; it's a first-rate work of art."--The New York Time Book Review
"Every aspect of this multilayered novel harmonizes...excellently set-up twists display Quick's mastery of pacing; authentic dialogue and deft character development ensure both our emotional investment in these richly complex boys and also our empathizing with their main commonality--feeling like "you're not the person on the outside that you are on the inside.""--The Horn Book
"His emotionally raw tale retains a delicate sense of hope and optimism, making it a real gut punch of a read."--Publishers Weekly
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"Deuker creates a textured cast of parents, coaches, and teens and deftly handles themes of personal ethics, teamwork, burgeoning friendships, and coping with an abusive adult."
"A largely well-executed exploration of team spirit, friendship and the devastating impact of untrustworthy adults."
"Basketball fans will love the realistic hardwood action."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"The novel includes descriptions of many basketball plays and strategies, which should make this book particularly appealing to fans of the game."
"This is solid Deuker turf, populated by good kids trapped between conscience and goals. Expect fans to grab this title as soon as it hits the shelf."
"Short, action-packed chapters make for a quick read, but the story's underlying messages will linger. . . . What makes this story special is the careful handling of an incredibly difficult topic."
—VOYA, 5Q 4P J S
"Deuker's ability to create fully realized characters who wrestle with moral dilemmas while incorporating plenty of game action raises his novel above typical sports fiction by several notches. This one will satisfy the author's longtime fans and win him many new ones."
—School Library Journal
"Without passing judgment, Averett addresses the issue of free choice versus protective care. . . Readers will have no trouble recognizing the impact of Cameron's hallucinations and his burning need for independence."
"Cameron's first-person narration allows access to an absorbing glimpse of schizophrenic behavior. . . . Thoughtful and eye-opening."
"This is a well-written, taut, and empathetic novel that provides readers with an unnerving vicarious experience."
—School Library Journal
"This novel is a nuanced treatment of a difficult topic, sustained by narrative drive."
"Averett does a good job of developing Cameron's situations in a way that helps the reader understand the true depth of the struggle that Cameron is facing; he uses language that makes the internal conflict explode off the page. This is a raw, real, quick read that looks into darkness of mental illness."
—VOYA, 4Q 3P J S
"[Averett's] accessible writing makes Cameron and his struggle vivid to young readers, and they'll find this an eye-opening walk in somebody else's shoes."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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.
A contemporary YA drama about a young man suffering from schizophreniform disorder, who falls into a love triangle with a girl in his class . . . and a girl in his head.
“A well-written, taut, and empathetic novel that provides readers with an unnerving vicarious experience.”—SLJ
Fourteen-year-old Cameron Galloway of Lexington, Washington, understands that he has schizophreniform disorder and needs to take pills to quiet the voices in his head. But he likes the voices, especially the gentle, encouraging voice of The Girl. Conflicted, he turns to his friend Nina Savage, who is clinically depressed and can relate to his horror of the numbing effects of medication. They make a pact to ditch the pills. At first they feel triumphant, but soon Camerons untreated mind goes haywire—to disastrous effect.
About the Author
Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.