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Friday, April 27, 2018

HOOPER by Geoff Herbach: Giveaway

From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.

But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.

Praise for HOOPER

“Lessons on small-town politics and what it means to be a good friend abound in this well-plotted work.” ―Booklist

“Herbach’s ability to expand the narrative from solid game play to confronting racial injustice is remarkable. No one here is perfect, and their failures make readers cringe yet root for success. Hoops and so much more.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“There’s much to love in this sports tale. Fast-paced play-by-plays vividly depict the speed and beauty of the game. Adam’s backstory is heartrending and with immigrant mistrust and nonviolent protests in the national spotlight, this is a timely and realistic teen drama and swish—nothin’ but net.” ―School Library Journal

“This sports/school/domestic drama checks all the boxes. What could be another boilerplate basketball novel benefits from a tight cast of well developed secondary characters who surpass their expected stereotypes.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Fresh, funny, thoughtful, subversive, and totally absorbing. Book of the year!” ―Robert Lipsyte, Margaret A. Edwards award-winning author of The Contender

“Funny, gut-wrenching, and spilling over with heart, Hooper is an uplifting breath of joy, and gives us all cause to be hopeful. I loved it!” ―Andrew SmithMichael L. Printz Honor and New York Times Bestselling author of Wingerand Grasshopper Jungle

“Hooper is a slam dunk! A sports novel with incredible action and tons of heart. I challenge you not to fall in love with these terrific, flawed characters, and just try to put this one down once you start. Impossible.” ―Bill Konigsberg, Award-Winning Author of Honestly Ben

“Raw, funny, and deeply honest, Geoff Herbach gifts us a story about the messiness of life and the importance of talking about it—ultimately showing us how to not only trudge through it, but to soar.” ―Gae Polisner, author of In Sight of Stars and The Memory of Things

“Author Geoff Herbach has a remarkable ability to create characters who make us laugh and think, sometimes within the same sentence. Read Hooper and let your self be changed.” ―John Coy, author of Gap Life 


Sometimes I have bad nightmares about Poland. My first town, Kulesze Kościelne, was in the east, near Bialystok and not so far from the country called Belarus. There my grandpa ran his dairy farm. It was a good place to be a little boy. I kicked a soccer ball across big meadows.
It was a bad place to be for my mom. She is gone.
It was a bad place to be for my dad. He grew up in Warsaw, in the big city, and he didn’t want to pull cow teats (he said this to me many, many times—but I remember the machines, so he never had to milk with his hands—he is a liar). When my mom followed Grandma in cancer, Dad left Grandpa and his farm to die together. Dad took me, age seven, to Warsaw.
My nightmares are in Warsaw in a tall apartment building with a big window and black darkness outside. It is day, but the air has filled with ink from an octopus. The blackness starts to leak in through cracks in the cinderblock. I try to plug the cracks with my hands, but there is no chance to stop the ink. My dad isn’t there. He can’t help me. The ink flows in.
I wake. It is three a.m. Renata is in my room. She sits on my bed. Her hand is on my forehead. “You’re screaming, Adam,” she whispers. “It’s just a dream. It’s just a bad dream. You’re okay.”
“Okay,” I say. But I toss and turn for the rest of the night. I am awake. I am asleep. I am both awake and asleep. For much of it I’m not sure where I am. Kulesze with meadows outside? Warsaw with broken cement in my park? Philadelphia in the brownstone apartment? Northrup? Does it matter at all?
There is ink. There is darkness coming for me.
Copyright © 2018 by Geoff Herbach

Author Bio

Geoff Herbach is the author of the award winning Stupid Fast YA series as well as Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders. His books have been given the 2011 Cybils Award for best YA novel, the Minnesota Book Award, selected for the Junior Library Guild, listed among the year’s best by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and many state library associations. In the past, he wrote the literary novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, produced radio comedy shows and toured rock clubs telling weird stories. Geoff teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. He lives in a log cabin with a tall wife.


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