"Slam!" is the story of Greg "Slam" Harris, a young basketball player of 17 who not only runs the point but also dunks at will, hence his nickname. The author, Walter Dean Myers, a prior Newbery Honor recipient, used his own background growing up in Harlem to write this coming-of-age story of a young hoops player trying to find his own way on the harsh blacktop.
Slam has an outstanding basketball game, but his temper is just as quick and hard as his drives to the basket. However, in school, his performance is a different story. Unfortunately, his teachers are not willing to let things slide just because of his basketball abilities. This gives him some major headaches.
Slam has seen other ballplayers with ability leave the neighborhood, many the hard way, but a few have headed for glory. He knows that he has the ability to go all the way to the huge arenas, but he also might hit the skids like his friend Ice. Fixing his problems in school are his first challenge without a basketball in his hand.
Myers has written many books for children and young adults, including "Monster" and "Fallen Angels." He has two Newbery Honors, the Michael J. Printz Award and five Coretta Scott King Awards.Learn More
"The Tempest," a drama by William Shakespeare, tells the story of some castaways brought to an island through a tempest created by the magician Prospero, who was exiled there with his daughter Miranda. During the play, Prospero, aided by his servant spirit Ariel, reconciles himself to Alonso, the king of Naples, and his brother Antonio, who had exiled him and usurped his position as the Duke of Milan.Full Answer >
Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, "The Finish of Patsy Barnes" tells the story of the titular character, a poor young African-American boy who enters a horse race in order to earn the money he needs to pay for his sick mother's treatment. His victory is compounded by his decision to ride and therefore symbolically conquer the horse that killed his father, empowering his mother to begin her journey to recovery.Full Answer >
O. Henry's 1907 tale "The Last Leaf" tells the story of a young woman, Johnsy, dying of pneumonia and what her friends do to try to save her life. The woman is helped by her roommate and best friend, Sue, and their elderly neighbor, Behrman.Full Answer >
"The Golden Kite, the Silver Wind" by Ray Bradbury is a story about two villages in China that begin competing by constructing walls around each town. The story is meant to point out the effects of a nuclear arms race, when countries compete to develop more powerful nuclear weapons. Specifically, it was written to draw attention to the nuclear proliferation that occurred during the Cold War.Full Answer >