Full Court Pressure

Sunday, June 29, 2014
“And then there’s our sweet little Joy,” said Patti. “I don’t know how you did it, but you’re the one who talked Coach Evans into taking me out of the starting lineup. You play up your little pity act to get what you want, but I know better. You’re just a lying, scheming little – “
Joy couldn’t take it anymore. “I’ve had just about enough of you!” she said, standing up to face Patti.
“Too bad!” Patti said. “If you don’t like it, you can quit the team and save us all from a losing season you… loser. I’ve heard your mom was a namby pamby loser just like you.”

Book: Full Court Pressure (Game On!) by Stephen D. Smith with Lise Caldwell, Standard Publishing, 2006

Genre: Sports Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 11-14
Summary: They WILL lose. No one has any doubts about that. With Patti on the team there is a pretty much guarantee of the team losing every single game. She is a skilled player, but a horrible teammate. She won’t pass the ball, she insults and stirs up trouble amongst everyone until every girl at the team is too upset to focus on basketball. And now she blames everyone else for her not making starting player or team captain. And if all of the pressure there isn’t hard enough, Joy’s best friend isn’t even on the team this year! And with the death of her Mom last year and her dad now dating someone else, Joy is about ready to burst from all the stress! Something has to change – and soon!
Notes: This book is a part of the Game On! series - a focus on young atheletes overcoming obstacles. This one is about an eighth grade girl who plays basketball. She lost her mom last year and is dealing with some uncertainty about God and where she stands with Him because of it. When her dad starts dating another woman Joy is extremely uncomfortable, but Kristen encourages Joy in her faith, pointing her back to God. The basketball challenge is dealing with Patti, a girl who is lashing out in hurt and anger at everyone around her due to her mom running off with a boyfriend, abandoning Patti and her dad. It takes Kristen showing Joy that assumptions about people can be wrong, to convince Joy to go reach out to Patti in love instead of the anger Patti encourages. The spiritual emphasis is definitely there. It’s a bit more simplified than some – as if a single conversation can suddenly make Joy be ok with her dad dating Kristen, ok with God despite her mom’s death, and ready to reach out to the girl who has been vicious to her, but there is most definitely a spiritual focus in the book.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
Matthew 5:43-46 –"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?


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