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Rimshots: Basketball Pix, Rolls and Rhythms

by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Published by Dutton, 1999
32 pages
ISBN: 0-525-46099-3

Age 10 and older

"Basketball is a game I have loved since I was a child...Even though I'm not great at the game, I can marvel at those who are...On the streets, I've seen guys do things I didn't think could be done. In college games, I've seen destinies fulfilled and hearts broken--all within a tenth of a second." Photographer/writer Charles Smith Jr.'s love of basketball is one with which many young readers will identify. They may also identify with the many perspectives on the game presented in this energetic collection of photographs and 14 original prose and poetic pieces that are sometimes wry, sometimes euphoric, but always impassioned. From the sardonic "Excuses, Excuses" to the slyly humorous "No Soles" to the soaring "The Sweetest Roll," Smith refreshing celebrates the game as it is played on the street and in high school gymnasiums and college arenas rather than the athletic exploits of superstars. But it is the dynamic text design, in which changing fonts and color are used to suggest the energy and rhythm of the game and the emotions of the players, and Smith's quietly explosive duotone photographs of games on the street, that truly distinguish this collection. All of the photographs and much of the text are focused on male players. The absence of women and girls is unfortunate; nonetheless this is a book that should appeal to readers--and nonreaders--of many ages. CCBC categories: Poetry (MS; Mar 15)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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