Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pick-Up Game

Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full CourtPick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court ed. by Marc Aronson and Charles R Smith, Jr.

9 poems, 9 photographs, 9 stories, 10 authors, 2 editors, and 1 full day of basketball.

These short stories follow the action of a day of basketball at the Cage, which is the West 4th Street Court near Washington Square in Manhattan. We have new players, good players, bad players, players who talk a good game, girls who want to know players, film students, friends, and old-timers watching the action, shooting the balls and shooting the breeze.

There's more than enough basketball action here to entice your reluctant readers with a good sports book, but the writing, diversity of characters and voices (in every single way), and different takes on the same people and events will draw in your anti-sports book people. I mean, you're looking at writers like Walter Dean Myers, Sharon G. Flake, Joseph Bruchac, Adam Rapp and Rita Garcia-Williams. How can you NOT find something to enjoy about this?

I especially enjoyed Charles R. Smith Jr's poems and photos that started each story. They helped keep the action moving as we shifted focus and voice, but I also enjoyed how different the poems were-- different styles and voices and perspectives as well. The photographs were a great design addition.

There are reoccurring characters in the book and I like Aronson's note at the end that gives some of the history (and the real-life legends mentioned) as well as a bit about the process. Aronson and Smith chose the setting and date and gave each author a time slot. Author's couldn't start writing until the story before theirs was done, so they knew who was on the court and who was playing well that day. A great way to write a collaboration that turned out really well.

Book Provided by... my local library

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1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

This was interesting, but I have a bad feeling that the boys (who will pick this up) will skip over the chapters from the girls' points of view. Still, intriguing way to put together a book.