CHRIS PAUL LONG SHOT
Frank Morrison Studio
From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—In this picture-book autobiography, an NBA All-Star tells of being one of the smallest youngsters trying out for the local basketball team. He jumps into the story with a fantasized sportscaster's voice, describing an amazing shot that he, Chris Paul, age eight, makes after fielding a pass from double-teamed Michael Jordan. The play-action scenario is enough to make his big brother's friends say, "In your dreams." That bantering energy and the ensuing hard practice punctuated by sound family advice create a tight narrative. It is the week before tryouts and each family member, including big brother C. J. and grandfather Papa Chilly, contributes a way of supporting Chris. Earthy hues exuberantly painted and textured in acrylic add energy and depth to the story, and the cartoon style adds the right amount of action. Confident with his hands, trying his utmost not to worry about what he cannot control (his height), Paul tells an inspiring story that does not fall into sentimentality. It is a realistic portrait of a solid African-American family with the ability to realize their dreams. Pair it with Deloris Jordan's Salt in His Shoes (S & S, 2000) for a similar story and watch the wide-open eyes of the most reluctant boy readers as the thrills and spills of the final game decide who will make the team.—Sara Paulson-Yarovoy, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City END
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