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BIBLIO: 2014, Cinco Punto Press, Ages 12-18, $11.95.
FORMAT: Young Adult
Slump is the second book in a series by author Kevin Waltman. Here is a brief synopsis of the first book. “In Indiana, basketball is the next thing to religion. Especially for inner-city black kids like Derrick Bowen. He's a 6'3" freshman, lightning quick, and he can slam the rock. He wants to start at point guard for Marion High, but senior Nick Starks has that nailed down. Besides, the coach is old school. He thinks D-Bow needs to work on his game, his shot, and his attitude. That means bench time. And that's when Hamilton Academy, the elite school in the suburbs, comes sniffing around. They want D-Bow for the next three years. His mom wants no part of that. But his father needs a job, and Uncle Kid, who is a bitter ex-star at Marion High, has his own plans. Yeah, there's a pretty girl and a best friend in the mix. Plus plenty of basketball action and suspense just like high school boys like to read.” In this sequel Derrick Bowen is back in school and still has his girl Jasmine. Currently he is waiting for the basketball season to start up. This season the hope is that the team will be good and the coach is making sure of it. He is making the team practice hard. Unfortunately, a player gets injured and the team is having trouble connecting and working together. Derrick’s personal situation isn’t doing so great either. His best friend isn’t really there for him and his relationship with Jasmine is on edge due to issues regarding sex. On top of that, his father was in an accident and needs rehabilitation. Of course, this makes his family’s financial situation more stressful. Derrick regrets not having taken the offer to go to a private school where his father could have had a job. But at the end of the day, Derrick knows that with hard work and keeping a positive attitude he can overcome.
Author Kevin Waltman has done a great job adding intrigue and realism. The characters definitely fit into the theme of what high school students may or may not do. The relationships regarding sex are intense and perhaps this is a book for young adults over the age of 18. Parents and teachers will have to decide if this is a book for their kids. If they do, then this is an opportunity to open up dialogue regarding school, sports and sex.