Friday, January 30, 2015

Kareem Abdul-Jabar's book for middle school kids

Stealing the Game, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld 
(Disney-Hyperion, 2015), hb. 305 pp.

This book is scheduled for release next week but the publisher sent me an advance copy to review. I thought it would be useful to get a review from a young reader. So, I enlisted the help of Nate Barnard, 12 year old son of my colleague Justin Barnard, and voracious reader.

Below is his review. I hope you find it helpful, as I did.

This is a story about a boy who notices something is wrong with his brother and is determined to find out whatʼs going on.....before itʼs too late. The main character, Chris, is your average middle-schooler who loves playing basketball. When his brother Jax comes home from Stanford law school, Chris senses something is amiss. With the help of his friend Theo, Chris uncovers a mystery bigger than he ever imagined. Soon, he finds a way to save his brother: gather a team and play a game against an elite travel team. When that plan backfires, Jax decides to rob a pawn shop in order to pay off his gambling debt...and enlists Chrisʼs help. After a successful raid, all Jax has to do is pay off his debtor and heʼs free. But thereʼs more to Jax than meets the eye and this is what enables him to bust a ring of house burglars that have been terrorizing the town. Overall, I enjoyed this book. The plot is well-defined and every character has secrets that no one else knows. For example, Chris loves to draw comics but hasnʼt told anyone except Jax. Heʼs also a designer baby, born so Jax could live. Because Jax was the Golden Boy of the family, Chris feels overshadowed by his accomplishments. But he still loves his older brother and looks out for him. There is nothing inappropriate in this book. Chris and Jax both steal things; but, in the end “Itʼs all part of the job”. Chris hints that he approves of gay marriage, but it was something barely noticeable and only appeared once. Even the bad guys arenʼt truly evil, theyʼre just misled teens who feel driven to crime. This book kept my attention the whole way through. I would highly recommend it to anymiddle-schooler wanting something to do on a rainy day.



At 12:58 PM, Blogger Adam said...

Now I really want to know if Kareem makes an appearance to spar with Bruce Lee.


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