|Now||2019||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio|
Stealing the Game: 11/13/16
Stealing the Game by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld is a basketball themed tween book about making the right choices. It opens with Chris, an eighth grader, coming to realize he's gotten himself into a whole bunch of trouble.
The book rewinds to let the reader see what events lead up to Chris being pulled out of class with a police escort. If this had been written thirty or forty years ago the story would have been a straight up cautionary tale about gangs, drugs, and peer pressure. The golden brother would have fallen off the path of righteousness and would be now in the clutches of a local gang who now wanted to recruit the younger brother.
The book is set up to play on those expectations as if the only option for a black boy from the city was to join a gang or to escape on a sports scholarship. But there's more going on here as best friend Theo helps Chris discovers. Once back to the opening scene, the reader has enough information to expect a different sort of outcome.
I have to admit I was too sold on original set up and my expectations of a cliched story. Therefor the ending took me by surprise and pleasantly so.