After the Shot Drops

by Randy Ribay

Many in Bunny’s neighborhood feel he betrayed them when he accepted a basketball... read more

Many in Bunny’s neighborhood feel he betrayed them when he accepted a basketball scholarship to St. Sebastian’s, a private high school. His best friend Nasir, who still plays for their neighborhood high school, won’t even talk to him. As Bunny’s sophomore season heats up, he’s also questioning his decision to transfer. Basketball is the only way he fits in at St. Sebastian; in every other way it’s a challenge, because he’s Black and, compared to most students, poor. At the same time, college recruiters are paying far more attention to him than they would have at his old school. Bunny and Nasir’s tentative gestures of reconciliation are complicated by Bunny dating Keyona, a girl on whom Nasir has crushed for years. Nasir is also worried about his cousin Wallace, about to be evicted because his grandmother can no longer afford the rent in their gentrifying building. When Wallace reveals he’s been betting against St. Sebastian’s in the hopes of winning enough to pay their rent, it complicates things for Nasir even further. Chapters alternating between Bunny and Nasir’s points of view reveal the complexities and challenges of their lives in a riveting novel that illuminates how often the right thing to do is muddied by the ripple effects of every action; while doing the right thing, even when it’s clear, isn’t always easy. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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