Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: 13-year-old Carlos Cooper is still adjusting to life in a wheelchair following a car accident that killed both his parents. When his aunt and uncle encourage him to try wheelchair basketball, he’s pretty sure he’s not going to like it. A basketball star in his former life, he struggles with no longer being the best shooter on the team. But the coach and the other kids on the team convince him that they need his talents, and gradually, basketball becomes a big part of his life again. When the old gym that houses their practices is condemned and scheduled to be torn down, the kids uncover a nefarious plot involving the mayor, the father of their school’s biggest bully, and the editor of the local paper. The good guys come together for a last-minute reprieve on the gym, and the team finds its groove at the state championships, making for a feel-good happy ending. 304 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: Fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green will enjoy this heartwarming sports story, which has a cast of dedicated athlete characters and plenty of basketball action. And, yes, it was just Monday when I said there aren’t many kids’ books with a protagonist in a wheelchair. It’s a funny world.
Cons: The “bad guys” were all caricatures, particularly the mayor with his slicked-back hair, wraparound sunglasses, and bright red limo.