Strong to the Hoop

By Kirkus Reviews

James, ten, makes the most of a sudden chance to run with the big boys in this hard-fought game of playground basketball. Stepping onto the main court and told to guard Marcus, a head taller and hard as a rock, James looks bad at first; his uncertainty fades as he gets into the rhythm of the game, and at last it’s his shot that makes the winning point. Coy (NIGHT DRIVING,1996) tells the tale in unslangy prose, with brief bursts of dialogue and short, precise descriptions. The text is printed in a typeface aptly named ‘Blur Light,’’ with chosen words in different sizes and colors. It’s an engrossing… debut for Jean-Bart; the full-color photograph-and-scratchboard collage illustrations, whose roughly inked edges give them an unfinished look, interpret the action literally, in a far more successful evocation of the game’s look and feel than that found in Charles R. Smith’s RIMSHOTS (1999). In the end, James slaps Marcus’s hand, then proudly turns to face the next quartet of challengers. Cleanly compelling.