Friday, April 19, 2013

True Legend

True Legend
by Mike Lupica
Philomel, 2012.  292 pgs.  Fiction

      Drew "True" Robinson is the best high school point guard in the country.  He and his Mom have moved from New York to Southern California to nestle under the wing of Mr. G., a filthy rich basketball fan who started his own prep school academy just to assemble a grade-A basketball team and then to highlight Drew's talents.  His soon to be best friend Lee promises to be his wingman, hoping to bring a district championship to Oakley, and though his Mom warns him about believing his own hype and slacking off in his schoolwork, he soon begins to give in to casual lying and cheating, letting others "help" him with his homework and thinking life owes him whatever he wants. But one night when he arrives to shoot around by himself on a neighborhood court, lit only by the moon, he sees a ghost.  An old guy with skills--extraordinary skills--attacking the basket like an elite pro player.  When he hails the guy, the guy runs.  How Drew tracks down this playground legend, sees what might become of him if he keeps rationalizing away his integrity, and finds out who his "True" friends are carries Lupica's story to a deeply satisfying conclusion.  A near-perfect narrative for teens and tweens about being faithful to oneself and to those who matter most.  I listened to this book on CD, marvelously well read by Prentice Onayemi.

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