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Wowww what a read. I know nothing about basket ball but this is so much more than that. It’s the stories about the lives of those involved. Gene takes you on a journey with them and along the way you learn the history of basket ball which is majorly interesting. I loved loved loved it. I rooted for the team all the way and loved their stories. Well done Gene. Another solid book. You never disappoint.
Best graphic novel of 2020. A funny, honest and moving account of Yang's time following his school's basketball team, and a deeper look at the drivers of success in sports, set against the author's struggle to produce a great read and make important decisions about his own life.
Gene Luen Yang es mi nuevo escritor favorito. En esta ocasión nos cuenta una historia de basquetbolistas y la Historia del basquetbol. Es sumamente interesante pues en esta ocasión el autor es un protagonista observador de los sucesos. Buen manejo de los personajes y gran emoción en los partidos.
Received the book on March 20 and my 10-year old son and 13-year daughter both finished it that day. I finished it in one sitting the following day. Been a big fan of Mr. Yang since American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints and The Shadow Hero (all highly recommended) as well as his DC Comics work (#representationmatters). but this graphic novel is not necessarily an Asian-American story but a basketball story of the high school where he was a teacher. The storytelling is uniquely Mr. Yang's style, informal but poignant, easy to understand but also deeply relevant on some social issues we face today. Creative cover that has the feel of a basketball. Kudos!
Despite its format as a graphic novel, this book feels much more like an immersive documentary. While basketball is a focus of the story, the sport often feels secondary as the author gives valuable insights into all the main characters. A recurring theme is how each of them took a fateful, courageous step to achieve the future they want for themselves. These brave individuals even inspired the author to make his own mid-life change, finally dedicating himself to a career in comics—and we readers are the richer for it.
A fun and entertaining read with a bit of history sprinkled throughout. I love Gene Yang's written and illustrated work, I think Boxers & Saints is his masterpiece, and this book was really enjoyable, too. At first I wasn't sure if I'd like it because it's seemingly a "basketball book," but it's also about the individuals who make up a team, their singular and collective journeys, and what it means for many to take that first step toward a goal. The book felt a little longer than it needed to be at times, but it was informative and Yang did some clever things with the format that nicely illustrated the advantages of telling a story as a comic. Yang is clearly more than just a storyteller--he's an educator and he knows his craft very well.
Gosh I loved this book. Having attended the school featured, I know the culture and the popularity of its basketball team. I relived some of my teenage years by reading Yang's account of the 2015 team featuring a multi-racial, complex team that encompasses the spirit of the school. There is truly a community there that takes care of its own no matter where you're from or what you do. I was also fortunate to see this team play and its cast of characters was aptly portrayed through vignettes, backstories and game play. When I finished the book I though it may only be appealing to the community of Bishop O'Dowd High School and its alumni but after reading other reviews, I was pleased to see how it is enjoyed by many. A true tour de force from a talented young man!
Thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel that has a sport’s diary feel and includes aspects of history and memoir as it follows the 2014-15 basketball season of the Bishop O’Dowd Dragons from Oakland, CA.
There’s a lot to unpack in these 436 pages including mistreatment of players due to race, gender, and religion. I really like how Yang also chronicled his own story as a teacher and graphic novelist, mirroring the time frame of the basketball season. Also appreciated the notes at the back of the book that chronicled important events in the story.
Will definitely share with my mature 5th grade readers when we head back to school.