Author: Walter Dean Myers
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Basketball, Achievement and Success, Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles, Anger, School Sports, Coming of Age, Setting Goals, African American, Friends and Friendship, Responsibility, Growing Up, High School, Substance Abuse Experiences, Violence and Crime
Seventeen-year-old Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He's quick enough to handle the point guard slot and, as his tag implies, he can slam dunk at will. His temper is like his game, hard and fast.
Slam's grades aren't so hot, though. He knows it, but he doesn't want to hear it. And when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up.
Slam has seen ballplayers come and go and knows he could be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he'll make it all the way to the big arenas, or maybe, like his man Ice, he'll stumble along the way. He never doubted himself on the court until he found himself going one-on-one with his own future, and he didn't have the ball.
Newbery Honor author Walter Dean Myers calls on his own Harlem background in this raw and gritty story of a young basketball player coming of age and trying to make it on the unforgiving courts of the city.