Fred Bowen

Children's sports author and Washington Post/KidsPost sports columnist


School Library Journal:

Gr 3-6óRichie Mallon is a shooter. He has known this since the day he realized he had an inherent love of and talent for basketball. The swish of the ball hitting the net and the pleasure of soring the most points in a game are all that matter to him. While trying out for the basketball team during his eighth grade year at Plaza Middle School, Richie is confident that his shooting ability is not only enough to get him on the team but also all he needs to be the teamís go-to guy for every win. When challenged by his coach and others to think about every aspect of the game, Richie feels a bit discouraged but soon discovers that basketball is about more than scoring points. It is also what happens off the court that counts. Bowen has again written a sports story that is purely and simply about the love of the game. Smartly using sports terminology and internal monologue from the protagonistís point of view, this latest novel is bound to engage and entertain young readers who double as basketball players and/​or fans. VERDICT A must-purchase where basketball fiction is popular. ĖNikitia Wilson, Queens Library, NY


Richie is the shooter for his eighth-grade basketball team. Shooters are critical to the team because their main focus is to score points. Richie has spent hours perfecting his shooting skills and really never plays any other position. After a killer first game, Richie finds himself falling into a slump he just canít pull himself out of. Cammy, one of the teamís statisticians, plays lacrosse herself and tries to mentor Richie, stressing the importance of being an all-around player who helps the team in anyway they can. At first he ignores her advice, but soon he starts helping his team win with rebounds and assists. Maybe she is rightóthere might be more to winning than just racking up the points by himself. Bowenís Sports Story series, while often overlooked, regularly offers stories that are engaging, action-packed, and a great next step for struggling readers ready to move beyond the usual high-lo offerings available to them. This quick, satisfying installment is no different and should find easy appeal among reluctant readers looking for novels about athletes.
ó Lindsey Tomsu


Available in hardback, paperback and E-book

- BOOKLIST, See full review on left.

" A MUST PURCHASE." -School Library Journal
See full review on the left.


Richie Mallon is great at shooting the basketball. When the ball leaves his hand, itís going in the bucket. Richie is sure he will be the starting shooting guard for the Knights, his middle school team. But when his shot deserts him, Richie is not sure of his place on the team. How can he help the Knights if he is not the teamís number one shooter?


Some of the best shooters in basketball - like Steph Curry of the The Golden State Warriors - can do more than shoot the lights out of the basket. They can pass, dribble, and even play some defense. They prove that to be truly great, you've got to do more than score to help your team.