The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park
Teko Bernard & Wayne L. Wilson and Gabriel Diaz, illustrator
Elmdale Park Publishing October 23, 2013
Age 8 to 13 127 pages
“All Bernard wanted to do while staying with his grandparents in his father’s childhood hometown of Elmdale for the summer was work on his basketball skills. When Bernard excitedly enters a team into the Annual Elmdale Park Basketball Tournament, he’s shocked to discover that the future of the Park is at stake and dependent on his team winning the whole thing. The ruthless millionaire, Victor Franco, wants the Park shut down and turned into a city dump for his own personal gain. Can the courageous Bernard and his fun and wacky crew defeat their Oakdale rivals and save the historic Park?”
****”This was such an enjoyable read! I love the nice, upbeat story, the realistic characters, and the fantastic humor. Bernard is such a relatable character, and he’s a great true-to-life role model. Readers are sure to appreciate the basketball lingo, his love of the game, and his determination to fight the good fight.” – KIRKUS Reviews****
Bernard thinks basketball all day long. He plays as often as he can, working on his skills to improve his chances of making the high school freshman teams. To help him, Bernard ordered an unusual basketball called the “G5000 Ball coach.” This high-tech basketball from a Japanese company analyzes the user’s basketball skills, giving a shot percentage and, if there is room for improvement, the G5000 tells the player how to improve his game. He is not thrilled about a trip when he could be at home practicing.
Trouble has been brewing in Elmdale ever since the rich, powerful—, and dirty— Victor Franco had Bernard’s father taken out of the (high school age) championship basketball game by bribing an opposing player. More brawn than brain, this player injured Bernard’s father to the point of taking him out of the game—his team lost a game they were winning—and this dirty play cost Bernard’s father his basketball scholarships. As adults, Bernard’s father tried to improve Elmdale Park, but this same man stopped the plans. Now Bernard is taking up the fight, once again on the basketball court, in the Annual Elmdale Park Basketball Tournament, where he hopes to win Elmdale Park’s release from Victor Franco’s villainous grip
The Hoop Kid is a good book for boys, especially those boys who like reading sports stories. Reluctant readers might also like this story. It is short, at a mere 125 pages, and the chapters average four to five pages in length. Some readers might be stumped by a few large words (e.g. nefarious, scrutinizing, revitalized, disconsolately, and timbre). Some of the trash talk at the basketball games was not necessary. There is name-calling from one side to the other and some rough-tough talk by the G5000 as the game dates and during the games. Unfortunately, these scenes are realistic (except for the talking basketball).
The action, noise, and excitement are typical sports atmosphere and the author did a good job depicting games as exciting and well-paced. The illustrations supplementing the scenes, adding suspense with the black and white images, some split into five or six scenes similar to graphic novel illustrations. There is a lot of emotion in each image, telling the story in wonderful detail. In addition to the basketball theme, Bernard also finds himself enamored with a girl, who turns out to be a good basketball player. Grandpa Jones’s studio gives Bernard and his friends more to think about other than basketball, but Elmdale is definitely a basketball-oriented community.
The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park, written for age 8 to 13, yet the length is more chapter book, as is the writing, with the exception of a few words that would be above those ages. The Hoop Kid makes a good action tale for ages 7 to 9. I am not sure if this will be a series, but I have a feeling it will. Maybe the sport will change with each new book. The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park will keep kids entertained. At 128 pages, short chapters, and great illustrations to help decipher the action, reluctant readers should give The Hoop Kid a shot.
To learn more about The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park click HERE. and HERE and HERE
To purchase your own copy click HERE or HERE
Learn more about the author, Wayne L. Wilson: website facebook linkedin
Learn more about the illustrator, Gabriel Diaz: website facebook twitter vimeo behance
Learn more about Teko Bernard: website design facebook twitter linkedin
THE HOOP KID FROM ELMDALE PARK. Text and Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Teko Bernard. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Elmdale Park Publishing,Overland Park, KS.
The boys at school really like sports stuff. And graphic novels are really popular right now. This one could be a big hit.
I think you are right. Though there are not enough pictures to call it agraphic novel, but it is close.