Meet the Tigers, Tower High School’s basketball team. With Garrett James, the star player, who seems destined for the NBA, the Tigers are on top of the world, bringing the crowds to their feet. In this collection of poems, you’ll get to know Garrett James and the rest of the players, their families, their coach, and girlfriends, fans, and reporters. You’ll come to care about Darnell Joyce, the lovable forward with no place to live; Tyrone Porter and the little brother who worships him; and people like Vonessa Leighton, the team manager with a secret crush on one of the players.
"Jump Ball captures the pulse of the basketball season--on and off the court--in poignant, honest, and well-spoken glimpses into the many personalities who work and play at Tower High School. Teenage crushes, pregnancy, homelessness, and the glamorization of athletes are all examined here. Tower High's championship season is chronicled in fine, easy-to-read vignettes interspersed with broadcast accounts of the games. The insights of the players and adults are cleverly penned. They're sure to interest sports fans or just those desiring a look into human nature. The startling, tragic event that grips the team at the end of the season will keep young people reading to learn the fate of the troubled and terrific Tigers."
- School Library Journal
A Best Book for Young Adults, 1998
- American Library Association
A Book for the Teen Age, 2001, 2002
- New York Public Library
Click here to read excerpts from Jump Ball