Graphic Novel for Older Readers

Today I have a graphic novel for older readers.  Whether you are a sports lover or a sports hater, this one will have you cheering for the Bishop O’Dowd Dragons to win the state championship.  This book delves into the team, its players, and even the history of the sport.

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Title: Dragon Hoopsgraphic novel for older readers dragon hoops

Author: Gene Luen Yang

Target: Grades 6-12

Series: No

What this book is about: 

This graphic novel chronicles the high school basketball team at the school where Gene Luen Yang taught for several years before becoming a full-time author.  Growing up, Gene loved superheroes, but he never really got sports.  This year the team is again in contention for the California State Championship but with a 0-8 record on the big stage, their success is in no way assured.  The more Gene digs, the more he appreciates the story of the players and their coaches.  He starts to find the games as thrilling as any comic book and follows every dribble, pass, and layup.  The only thing he can’t do is affect the ending so as a writer he has to work with the ending that fate gives him.  

Why I love this book:

  • Sure readers can look up what happened to the team – but don’t!  Part of the fun of the story is that you know the ending isn’t manipulated and it can go either way.  Just like watching an actual sports team, you’ve got to go on the journey until the book is over or the buzzer sounds.
  • This is a fascinating look at the kids who make up a team.  If you aren’t a sports person you will see the impact that playing sports can have on students, and if you are already a convert you will appreciate how Gene brings that to the forefront.  
  • Plenty of sports action but also more reflective parts and interesting bits of history are included.

Who this book is for:

Great book for kids who love graphic novels and sports, but even if you aren’t a fan of basketball, you will be rooting for the Dragons by the end.  

Final thoughts:

If I have one criticism of this book it is simply that the author didn’t need to inject himself so much into the story.  But it certainly won’t dissuade any reader from enjoying the story.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Dragon Hoops.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.