The Legend of Gravity

The Legend of Gravity cover
The Legend of Gravity by Charly Palmer

By Charly Palmer
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022
40 pages

Ages 6-10

“He leaped so high that he looked like he was never coming down, like he defied gravity or something.” The new kid at the neighborhood basketball court doesn’t have a nickname, but his skills quickly earn him one. “Gravity once jumped so high that we were able to go out for ice cream before he came down.” With Gravity on their side, the players hope their team can finally win the Best of the Best, “Milwaukee’s biggest and baddest pickup basketball tournament.” Their strategy? Get the ball to Gravity and he’ll do the rest. In the closing minutes of the final, an exhausted Gravity calls on the skills of Liquid, Sky High, and Left 2 Right in turn. Then he turns to the narrator. “I’d never had a nickname, but when Gravity said, ‘I’ma call you … Butta! You got flava, so we need you to melt into the backcourt and spread the defense,’ something inside of me got unstuck.” The new strategy: teamwork. The results: triumphant. The recognizable Milwaukee setting is just part of the fun in this dazzling picture book with its vibrant sense of Black community, wonderfully composed illustrations full of color and motion and writing that crackles with energy and warmth. An added pleasure is seeing the young, female narrator emerge from the background into her own.  ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center