Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pick-Up Game by Aronson and Smith - OPTIONAL

Aronson, Marc and Charles R. Smith, Jr.  Pick-Up Game, pgs. 170. Candlewick Press, 2011. FICTION. Language PG (23 swears, no f’s); Content: PG13. This is an anthology of short stories written by different authors with each chapter a continuation of the same story about basketball.  Each chapter begins with a poem written by Charles R. Smith, Jr., again about basketball.  The title pick-up game refers not just to the game itself (players waiting to be picked), but to the writing of each chapter.  Each author knew ahead of time the time slot, but was not allowed to pick up where the previous author left off until the previous chapter was completed.  Each chapter brings in different cast of characters to keep the story moving along.  The story takes place in New York City at a place called The Cage, a court surrounded by chain link, where scouts come to find the next new talent, but chapters, also, mention, Soul in the Hole in Brooklyn and Rucker in Harlem.  Players talk their street language as each one takes on different competitors.  The street language, dialect, bad grammar, and all the different names associated with the story could make the story a difficult read for students who do not use or understand the slang of New York basketball.  Students might be confused by such nicknames as Kay Saan, Han Noy, and Cy Gonn not realizing that these names came from the Vietnam War era. OPTIONAL – MS/HS. Reviewer, KD, Library Media Specialist, RJH Library

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