Hooper
From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.

Hooper Details

TitleHooper
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 20th, 2018
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062453112
Rating
GenreSports and Games, Sports, Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade

Hooper Review

  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    It is going to be hard to put the magic of this book into words. What at first seems to be a simple tale about a boy who plays basketball is actually a richly detailed and poignant story of family, belonging, racial injustice, finding home, and settling into the person you were meant to be. Hooper, with a style all of its own, captures these timely themes in an original and approachable way.“Basketball will be your passport.” Adam doesn’t exactly understand what that means. After all, he already It is going to be hard to put the magic of this book into words. What at first seems to be a simple tale about a boy who plays basketball is actually a richly detailed and poignant story of family, belonging, racial injustice, finding home, and settling into the person you were meant to be. Hooper, with a style all of its own, captures these timely themes in an original and approachable way.“Basketball will be your passport.” Adam doesn’t exactly understand what that means. After all, he already has a passport from when Renata adopted him and brought him from Poland to his new home in the USA. But he does love basketball. Loves the freedom he finds only on the court. Loves the way it silences the anger and painful memories. As his basketball skills start to give him new opportunities on the court, Adam must balance these with the challenges he faces off the court. And maybe, through it all, he will discover a home, family, and friends, and finally a place where he belongs.Hooper is a timely, addictive, and powerful book. The first thing that struck me was the clarity and uniqueness of Adam’s voice. Herbach’s writing immediately conjured for me the voice of this 16-year-old boy, with slightly faltering English, and a unique view of his world. Through his adventures of the next few months, Adam’s English improves, as does his understanding of social situations, how others view him, and how he can influence this.Hooper highlights the importance of relationships: friendship, family, romantic relationships, team cohesion, and that incredible feeling that you belong. Through each of these relationships - with his friend Barry, with his adopted mother, with his new and old teammates, with crush/friend/more Carli Anderson - Adam learns something about himself and about others. I didn’t want to put this book down. There was just something that captured me. The short chapters, awesome chapter titles, and Adam himself made this a book that was all too easy to love. But it continually surprised me, first with how much I enjoyed it and also with the many layers that are continually added to the story. Racial prejudice and injustice become important themes in the story, as Adam learns the power of one voice and the power of many voices. So too, bullying, violence and how to control these situations are timely subjects. And of course, the themes of accepting others, understanding and celebrating difference, and learning to work together are neatly woven throughout the story. Never preaching, but, as Adam’s friends do for him, gently showing.Okay, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this book justice. No words can fully express how this book surprised and enchanted me, captured my attention, and impressed me with its unique character voice, portrayal of topical themes, and how it entwined all this in a highly readable book about a brave young boy and his love of basketball. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
    more
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    psst! want more fun stuff on Hooper? check out my stop on the blog tour for a giveaway and more!4 starsI'm not a basketball fan, or a sports fan in general. But I did really enjoy Hooper. A lot more than I expected to.At first it came off as a kid playing basketball to be successful--but this grew so much more into that.It's honestly quite understated, kind of like Nina LaCour's We Are Okay in the way that there are a lot of things being said without actually saying anything. For one, Adam is an psst! want more fun stuff on Hooper? check out my stop on the blog tour for a giveaway and more!4 starsI'm not a basketball fan, or a sports fan in general. But I did really enjoy Hooper. A lot more than I expected to.At first it came off as a kid playing basketball to be successful--but this grew so much more into that.It's honestly quite understated, kind of like Nina LaCour's We Are Okay in the way that there are a lot of things being said without actually saying anything. For one, Adam is an immigrant from Poland and so part of the narrative revolves around what it's like for him to be an immigrant and not have a perfect grasp on English--thing like hearing "MVP" as "envy pee" which gave me a laugh.I did think that there was a little hitch here because at the beginning this barrier was really emphasized and by the end it was never mentioned. Although it's great that the communication barrier is down and Adam is talking to people, even if its not perfectly, I feel like he could still encounter a few things that he wasn't too sure of. I definitely wanted to see growth, but I did think it was almost too fast in the language aspect.There's also commentary about justice--not only with Adam's best friend who is getting into some trouble that wasn't really his fault, but also with his teammate Khalil who is also getting into unwarranted trouble because of racism.I really liked how all of the storylines weaved together. There was the thing between Adam and his best friend possibly getting expelled--but there was also something about Adam blowing off his best friend. And his best friend staying with Adam's family. And Adam's mom feeling neglected as well.It really all comes through in a great big circle as the subplots intertwine, and I really enjoyed that about this book.It talks about so many realistic things--justice, friendship, immigration, family--and I thought that this was the best aspect of the book.It was real and although Adam definitely isn't perfect at the beginning, and still not perfect at the end, he really learned a lot about life throughout the book. He finds courage and he faces bullying and it all really comes full circle.I also really enjoyed how developed the side characters were--both Adam's adopted mom Renata and his best friend Barry and his love interest Carli and his teammates and even the guy who bullies him. They all really contributed to what made this book feel so whole and complete.It was easy to read and I sped through it in a couple of days. Of course, there's sporty stuff in there, but even as a non-sporty person, I could really appreciate the base of this story. It's not really about basketball (although basketball is cool) or what it's like to be a Polish immigrant. It's about growth and learning and figuring out how to do what is right.Overall, I really enjoyed this one and think that anyone looking for a more nuanced read, or readers who love basketball, will enjoy Adam's story in Hooper.Thank you so much to Jean Book Nerd Blog Tours and Harper Collins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
    more
  • Katie Fitzgerald
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Reed, formerly Adam Sobieski, spent his childhood in Poland in less-than-ideal circumstances. Now that he has been adopted by Renata, his American mother, he lives in Minnesota and attends the local high school, where he is an up-and-coming basketball star and best friend to outsider Barry, who has a number of family issues himself. Though Adam knows that basketball is his passport to all the good things life has to offer, and has in fact been invited to join a prestigious travel team calle Adam Reed, formerly Adam Sobieski, spent his childhood in Poland in less-than-ideal circumstances. Now that he has been adopted by Renata, his American mother, he lives in Minnesota and attends the local high school, where he is an up-and-coming basketball star and best friend to outsider Barry, who has a number of family issues himself. Though Adam knows that basketball is his passport to all the good things life has to offer, and has in fact been invited to join a prestigious travel team called the Fury, there are some roadblocks standing between him and success. He lacks confidence in his skills as an English speaker, so he often does not talk to his classmates or teammates, leading them to assume he is either disabled in some way or a snob. He also has problems managing his anger and worries about losing his temper as he sometimes did in Poland, which would jeopardize his career. With the help of Carli Anderson, another basketball star who has great empathy for Adam, and his teammates on the Fury, Adam slowly begins to come to terms with his past and to come into his own as both a person and a basketball player.I have yet to read a Geoff Herbach book I didn't love. While Hooper is more serious than Herbach's wonderful Stupid Fast trilogy, it is every bit as engrossing and fast-paced. Herbach has such a talent for creating believable characters, and Adam may be his most layered protagonist yet. Though many issues are touched on in this book - identity, diversity, racism, child abuse, immigration - the strength of the main character keeps the story from becoming bogged down in political messages. The motivation to keep reading is not the desire to see how one particular conflict is resolved, but to find out what happens to the endearing Adam in all aspects of his life.The descriptions of sports in this book are also great. I am not someone who follows sports, but I love sports fiction, and the basketball action in this book is as entertaining as everything else. Herbach does a perfect job of balancing descriptions of plays with Adam's thoughts during games and practices, and even someone like me who knows very little about sports vocabulary has no problem following everything that takes place. Herbach always reminds me of Chris Crutcher; with this book, the comparison becomes even more apt. But whereas Crutcher's characters are often very obvious representations of particular causes and problems, Herbach's Adam is just a completely believable and well-rounded person who happens to face some issues. Even after he ceases to have these problems, he would still be interesting to read about.Hooper is geared toward a teen audience, but the content is certainly appropriate for younger readers as well. There is some romance, but nothing particularly steamy, and the interplay between Adam and his teammates is very reminiscent of the way characters interact in Jason Reynolds's middle grade Track series. Kids who like Fred Bowen as fourth and fifth graders could also easily move on to this book in middle school and enjoy it, especially if they are big basketball fans.It's early in the year, but I'm already fairly certain Hooper will make my list of favorite books of the year. I'd love to see Herbach also receive some award recognition for his consistently excellent writing. Maybe in 2019? Either way, Hooper is a must-read for fans of YA sports novels. This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.
    more
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusAdam Reed (born Sobieski) is fairly happy with his adoptive mom Renata, living in Minnesota. He hangs out with his quirky friend Barry, who has a hard life of his own, living with his mom Tiffany in a local trailer park. Adam has some anger management issues, and does not talk a lot, because he didn't get adopted until he was 11, and he doesn't feel that his English is that good. He frequently runs afoul of Kase Kinshaw, a jerk who calls him "Duh" and gives him a hard ti E ARC from Edelweiss PlusAdam Reed (born Sobieski) is fairly happy with his adoptive mom Renata, living in Minnesota. He hangs out with his quirky friend Barry, who has a hard life of his own, living with his mom Tiffany in a local trailer park. Adam has some anger management issues, and does not talk a lot, because he didn't get adopted until he was 11, and he doesn't feel that his English is that good. He frequently runs afoul of Kase Kinshaw, a jerk who calls him "Duh" and gives him a hard time at school. When his basketball skills bring him to the attention of fellow player Carli Anderson and her father, he gets an opportunity to try out for the Fury travel team. Carli helps him not only with improving his basketball skills, but is nice about driving him places when Barry's car falls apart. She also encourages him to talk more, and to interact with his new teammates so they don't think he is stuck up, and the two eventually start dating. When Renata starts dating a neighbor with two young daughters, Adam is concerned that it will end with her being unhappy, although he rather likes Michael and enjoys playing with his daughters. Throughout the course of the book, we learn more about Adam's neglected childhood in Poland, and watch as he improves his basketball skills and tries to get a handle on his internal rage so that he has a chance to attend college.Strengths: Herbach is a brilliant, brilliant writer. He understands what his audience wants, and he delivers: sports, romance, interpersonal problems, humor. He has the best ability to write a slightly off-kilter voice of any author I can think of! Adam's English isn't broken exactly, but his voice is so distinctive that I could HEAR it. The basketball details are interesting, and Carli is fantastic. She is a better player than Adam (although recovering from injuries), and she has a fantastically equal relationship with him. Adam's anger and his problem interacting with others is realistically protrayed, as is Renata and her difficulties. Adam makes a few comments about his black teammates that are insensitive, and I appreciated that these were fully discussed. Teens do sometimes make comments that show a lack of understanding, and the other players don't just react to Adam, they show him the error of his ways (in a slightly angry fashion, which is also realistic) and he is able to understand what he did wrong and change his views. We need more of this in teen literature. Enjoyed this tremendously. Herbach's Stupid Fast, Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders, and Anything You Want (which is definitely YA) are all fantastic.Weaknesses: While I understood the genesis of Adam's social difficulties, it might have helped to have a tiny bit of explanation about how childhood trauma can lead to issues of anger and failure to connect with others. Not sure how you would work them in. What I really think: While Adam is an older high school student, Herbach is circumspect in language and situations enough that this is perfect for middle school students who want more of a challenging read.
    more
  • Terri
    January 1, 1970
    Minnesota author, Geoff Herbach, scores big with his 2018 publication, "Hooper." This is my favorite book of Herbach's so far.Timely issues such as bullying, immigration, adoption, racism, friendship, domestic abuse, etc. are covered here with aplomb! As a result, "Hooper" is much more than a sports or basketball novel! The characters are realistic, flawed, and multi-dimensional - even the antagonists! The reader can easily empathize and believe these individuals. My true test of a good book is Minnesota author, Geoff Herbach, scores big with his 2018 publication, "Hooper." This is my favorite book of Herbach's so far.Timely issues such as bullying, immigration, adoption, racism, friendship, domestic abuse, etc. are covered here with aplomb! As a result, "Hooper" is much more than a sports or basketball novel! The characters are realistic, flawed, and multi-dimensional - even the antagonists! The reader can easily empathize and believe these individuals. My true test of a good book is whether or not it moves me, makes me feel something. I cried both with joy and sadness several times throughout the book.Highly recommended for both young adult males and females - grades eight and up. This should be an addition to all young adult collections - first purchase and multiple copies.
    more
  • Teenreadsdotcom
    January 1, 1970
    In Geoff Herbach’s HOOPER, readers meet Adam, a teenage boy with a talent for basketball and a passion for much more.Adam is a young boy adopted from an orphanage in Poland by an American woman. He lives in Minnesota, playing basketball for the local high school team --- and he’s good. Really good. Good enough to be playing on teams he’s never even dreamt of playing with. Basketball is his passport to a greater life but how much is he willing to sacrifice for the sport?HOOPER deals very heavily In Geoff Herbach’s HOOPER, readers meet Adam, a teenage boy with a talent for basketball and a passion for much more.Adam is a young boy adopted from an orphanage in Poland by an American woman. He lives in Minnesota, playing basketball for the local high school team --- and he’s good. Really good. Good enough to be playing on teams he’s never even dreamt of playing with. Basketball is his passport to a greater life but how much is he willing to sacrifice for the sport?HOOPER deals very heavily with basketball but that was not a barrier to me at all (unfortunately, my 5’0 frame leaves much to be desired when it comes to basketball). I was not expecting to relate to this book very much because I am not someone who enjoys watching or talking about basketball. However, I was surprised by how much the topic of identity resonated with me. I moved to the United States when I was 10 years old. At that age, I was too Nepali to be American and I was too American to be Nepali. Adam dealt with a lot of those similar feelings. He was too American to be Polish but too Polish to be American. The feeling of not fitting in either culture you live around felt incredibly authentic to me and Herbach portrayed in a way that resonated with me. Additionally, Adam’s feeling of resentment towards Renata, who he started viewing as someone who directly took the action that made him feel like that was also something I really understood.One of my absolute favorite parts of this book was how it showed how parts of everyone’s life can be broken. Supporting characters in books often either have it all or have nothing at all. However, this book was different. Every character had something they were struggling with but also had good things happening in their life. This felt more real to my experience with people in general. Every character felt like they were real and not just one dimensional figures on the page.The progression of Herbach’s writing style from the beginning of HOOPER to the end allowed me to feel like I got to know Adam well. I related to his story but also found all other characters to be real and complex.Reviewed by Pranshu Adhikari
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    OK, I RARELY read sports books. And when I do, I NEVER give them 5 star reviews. Usually because in order for it to be a true sports book, and not just a realistic fiction book with a team in it, the plays have to be pretty heavy handed, the dialogue and the storyline suffer (in my opinion), and the characters are flat outside of their athletic ability.This was not that type of sports book. Yes, there were plays. Yes the main character was good at sports. Yes, there were plenty of team dynamics. OK, I RARELY read sports books. And when I do, I NEVER give them 5 star reviews. Usually because in order for it to be a true sports book, and not just a realistic fiction book with a team in it, the plays have to be pretty heavy handed, the dialogue and the storyline suffer (in my opinion), and the characters are flat outside of their athletic ability.This was not that type of sports book. Yes, there were plays. Yes the main character was good at sports. Yes, there were plenty of team dynamics. But this was more than just about winning a championship. This was about what it means to be part of a team and what you have to do to earn a spot as a teammate, and more importantly, as a friend. I can not wait to get back to school and recommend this to my students and staff. I am already planning on ordering extra copies. Highly recommend. Adam Reed wasn't always Reed. Before he was Adam Sobieski, a Polish kid abandoned by his father in Warsaw. Now, he has been adopted by Renata and has figured out that he is actually pretty good at basketball. Especially since he's only been playing two years. Even with all of his skills on the court, he still isn't completely accepted at school. But all of that is about to change when Carli, the local college's coaches' daughter takes note of him and decides to help him improve his game. This leads to a spot on an elite traveling team with a group of guys who have been playing together forever. The D1 Fury is all about responsibility and the players have to sign an extensive conduct agreement. When one of the key players is kicked out due to a misunderstanding with the police, social media blows up. And Adam has to figure out what he is willing to risk in order to stand up for what is right. Like I said, this is a highly recommended, first purchase book in my opinion. Give it to kids who like sports books. Give it to kids who want to read about someone learning to stand up for what is right. Give it to kids to get them ready for All American Boys & The Hate U Give .
    more
  • Ben Lamorte
    January 1, 1970
    Stumbled onto it. My son read it in 2 days and literally asked “why is this book so damn good?” at 11pm and didn’t want to sleep... hasn’t happened since Harry Potter series. We were looking for a basketball book that is also decent literature, and Hooper is that book.
    more
  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    Great story! Fans of Carl Deuker will love this book.
  • Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
    January 1, 1970
    Adam is Polish, adopted and brought to America just four years ago. He doesn't feel he fits in until he discovers basketball. And, even then, something keeps him on the outskirts. Until The Fury.
  • Haley Laverne
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fantastic book for sports fans and non sports fans. This book is about a young Poland born boy named Adam Reed or previously known before coming to america Adam Sobenski. Adam was adopted by an american woman named Renata who lives in Philadelphia where Adam starts to play basketball. After a while they move to a small rural town in Minnesota where Adam starts to draw attention to his basketball skills and his ability to slam dunk. Along with Adam a young female player who plays baske This was a fantastic book for sports fans and non sports fans. This book is about a young Poland born boy named Adam Reed or previously known before coming to america Adam Sobenski. Adam was adopted by an american woman named Renata who lives in Philadelphia where Adam starts to play basketball. After a while they move to a small rural town in Minnesota where Adam starts to draw attention to his basketball skills and his ability to slam dunk. Along with Adam a young female player who plays basketball for the girls team at the same high school named Carli talks to Adam about the potential he has and that he should try out for the AAU team. Adam who develops a crush on Carli throughout the book helps him along with the identity issues he is having by having changed his last name when coming to America, being called "Farmer Boy", and also facing racial tensions once he makes the AAU team. At first when Adam makes the team that is predominantly black look at him like he will not fit in and try to throw everything at him to make sure he fails. One night Adam and the rest of his teammates go to a players house where Adam for the first time talks more English then he ever has tells about his past and where he comes from and the diffciult challenges he has faced. Soon the team becomes united and more unfortunate events happen to Adam where he always believe basketball was his passport. Passport to what? Is it a passport if the game can only take you so far? Maybe Not? This would be a wonderful book for young adult readers to read because many social issues are addressed in this book. Many young adults play sports and they could relate to the characters. This book I would used in my classroom as away for students to read about social issues and how they connect to their real life. While reading this book I felt that I related to the characters and what he faced happens to a lot of young adults who play or try out for sports and the racial stigma that might associate in sports.
    more
  • Casia Courtier
    January 1, 1970
    Hooper by Geoff Herbach is a sports contemporary YA book. It is a first-person narrative about Adam Sobieski Reed, a young boy originally from Poland, but adopted by an American woman. At the beginning of the book, Adam has already lived in America for a while. He has learned English and is doing well in school. He is also a basketball player.   I haven't read many sports fiction books. In fact, I think the last time I've read one was in middle school with the soccer fiction book, Tangerine. How Hooper by Geoff Herbach is a sports contemporary YA book. It is a first-person narrative about Adam Sobieski Reed, a young boy originally from Poland, but adopted by an American woman. At the beginning of the book, Adam has already lived in America for a while. He has learned English and is doing well in school. He is also a basketball player.   I haven't read many sports fiction books. In fact, I think the last time I've read one was in middle school with the soccer fiction book, Tangerine. However, that isn't to say that I didn't like the book. I just know very little about sports and don't really read books with a sports theme. That said, Hooper isn't a book about basketball. It's about a basketball player. A young man trying to navigate in a country he isn't sure he's a part of, in a family he isn't sure he deserves, speaking a language that isn't his first, and on top of that, undergoing what every person does . . . adolescence. In the midst of all that, Adam gets a chance of a lifetime. He gets to be a part of a college-bound basketball team. A team that, if he keeps going, can set him up for a college scholarship and a possible professional career in the sport he loves. What I really liked about this book is that Adam's narration is similar to a second language English speaker. I say this not in a bad way. For some background, I took a TESL (Teaching English Second Language) class in college and have helped middle school children who had English for their second language. Much of what they said and did was similar to Adam's own ways. He is a boy from a different culture trying to understand the new one he has been placed in.  He's not sure about certain sayings or customs and will just continue agreeing with something even though he may look strange to others. It's the fact he doesn't want to seem stupid that he does this. It's a type of mask in order for him to connect with his peers in a country he is unsure of. I really liked that. It was difficult to read sometimes. The prose is written in a way that makes you see the world as he sees it and speak the language as he does. It's not broken English, but there are moments where you will feel slightly disjointed while trying to determine what's going on. This way of narrating really makes his character more interesting. Though, as a reader reading for fun, it can be jarring and may take time to understand. That said, the book is a good one. It's about acceptance and finding a family. It's about realizing that everything you go through doesn't make your life miserable, it makes you who you are and what you do with that is what matters. These things are important lessons and to put it in the narration of Adam's story makes it that much more interesting. This, I would say, would appeal to both the sports lover and the child trying to navigate in a country that they are trying to adopt and be adopted in. If this book was around while I was still volunteering in that middle school ESL class, I would have mentioned it for the teachers. I would have suggested it to some of the children. And now, as I'm thinking of one day getting that TESL certification and volunteering again, I have a book that I would recommend. Final Rating: 4/5
    more
  • Nina O'Daniels
    January 1, 1970
    Sports, love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are good for some kids. It’s their salvation, their “passport” to a better life. For Adam Reed, it’s both. Adam lives with his adoptive mother, Renata, after she found him cold, hungry, and very alone in a park in Poland. Being in the US has been a transition, to say the least, and his grasp of the language, culture, and slang is a work in progress. The best thing to happen to him, besides being adopted, is that he has found basketball. He’s only been playing t Sports, love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are good for some kids. It’s their salvation, their “passport” to a better life. For Adam Reed, it’s both. Adam lives with his adoptive mother, Renata, after she found him cold, hungry, and very alone in a park in Poland. Being in the US has been a transition, to say the least, and his grasp of the language, culture, and slang is a work in progress. The best thing to happen to him, besides being adopted, is that he has found basketball. He’s only been playing three years and devotes all of his time to practicing, almost in a manic sort of way. And he’s good, really good. The only problem is, he doesn’t understand the concept of a team. He understands how it works but not the dynamics that need to happen off the court, to anticipate your teammate's move on the court before they do, to need someone else. Regardless of his power on the court, his school teammates have no love for him off of it. His silence, he rarely talks, doesn’t help. His only friend is Barry, an ostracized, quirky boy whom he met while running through Barry’s trailer park. Carli Anderson, a girl wonder basketball player, sees the potential in him and hooks him up with a tryout for an AAU team. Her dad is a college coach, so she knows basketball politics and guides Adam as much as she can. Adam doesn’t fully understand the prestige of making an elite AAU team or why his all African American teammates dislike him so much. “Farmer”, as he is not so affectionately called by them, takes it in stride and understands that he has much to learn, so learn he does. Extra practices, watching Youtube video after video, practices with Carli that involve more than just basketball, and trips to his teammate’s house help him get the concept of team. When racial tensions, something Adam does not understand, threaten the team, he is forced to make a decision that could alter his future with basketball. So, that’s the gist of it, but there is SO MUCH MORE. Herbach takes this seemingly banal sports story (truth be told, it’s not original) and takes the reader on a journey through this lonely and confused teenager’s life as he struggles to make sense of most everything. His traumatic background doesn’t allow for much understanding when it comes to love, family, and friends and it takes him some hard lessons and time to see that he is loved. He does have friends. He does have family that cares for him. Not only is Adam living in a new country, with a new language and traditions he doesn’t understand, he is also still a teenager. Underlying his decisions, emotions, and behavior is this heart of a teenager who just wants to be loved and play basketball. It’s simple, really, but getting there isn’t. There are so many good people in his life that are important to this story- Barry, I’m looking at you- that round out his experience. While I didn’t love everything about this book, the stilted writing mimics Adam’s grasp of the English language and some plots/characters that weren’t as fleshed out as I’d like, I appreciate all that it was trying to accomplish. Regardless, anyone who is a sports or basketball fan will devour the details of practice, making shots, boxing out, and the intricacies and plays of the sport while those who don’t care will still pick up this quick and timely read and be glad they did.
    more
  • Carrie Ardoin
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARSFrom the moment I started this book, I knew that I was going to like the main character. Adam Reed (aka Sobieski) is a sophomore in high school and is a basketball phenom. His height may have been God given, but for every other part of the game, he has worked relentlessly to better himself. Adam has a passion for the sport that you can really feel coming off the pages of this novel.Adam might be great at basketball, but the other parts of his life, he's more uncertain about. He only has 3.5 STARSFrom the moment I started this book, I knew that I was going to like the main character. Adam Reed (aka Sobieski) is a sophomore in high school and is a basketball phenom. His height may have been God given, but for every other part of the game, he has worked relentlessly to better himself. Adam has a passion for the sport that you can really feel coming off the pages of this novel.Adam might be great at basketball, but the other parts of his life, he's more uncertain about. He only has one friend, he is adopted and has only been living in the US after coming from Poland a few years ago. He also struggles with anger problems and the fact that no one at school seems to care about him except when he's scoring on the court.Being a high schooler is tough enough, but when you add these problems on, you can see why Adam often feels so overwhelmed and complicated.This was a very fast read for me. I can tell that not only does the main character love basketball, but so does the author; I had to skim my eyes over passages detailing plays and such, because I simply don't know that much about the game. Those in love with the sport will appreciate the attention to these details, though.You really can't help but feel for Adam. Born in Poland, he ended up in an orphanage after the death of his mother and being abandoned by his father. Even though this sad part of his life has been over for years and he is now being lovingly cared for by the woman who adopted him, Adam still has violent, irrational dreams and flashbacks, and they lead to him cutting himself off from people. I wish the book would have explored a bit more into getting Adam some help for the issues he's still wrestling with from his childhood. When he finally does open up to someone, he feels simultaneously worse and better. He's clearly dealing with emotional issues and anxiety, and I think young readers will recognize these signs in themselves; that's why I wish it would have been addressed more.The romantic angle was kind of flighty to me, but maybe I don't know much about teenage love anymore since I am now in my 30's. The girl seemed to run hot and cold, and in my opinion Adam goes too easy on her, but OK. Like I said, maybe I just don't know how relationships between teens are these days.I think many teens will relate to this book because it deals with problems like having to choose between two vastly different friend groups, how much time you should devote to the things you love, and keeping your priorities straight when you have a lot on your plate. Young basketball fans will devour this book for the game passages, and others still will like the humor. Hooper has a lot of sides to offer.
    more
  • John Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Who says White men can't jump? If you've met Adam Sobieski Reed, you know that's not true. What is true about Adam is that he grew up in Poland. After his mom died, his father, overwhelmed with grief and the responsibility of taking care of his son, crawled into the bottle. Not long after, Adam was dumped at a Catholic orphanage. He was rescued by Renata, an American who was doing research on her Ph.D. She adopted him and after living in Philadelphia for a while, moved them to Minnesota where sh Who says White men can't jump? If you've met Adam Sobieski Reed, you know that's not true. What is true about Adam is that he grew up in Poland. After his mom died, his father, overwhelmed with grief and the responsibility of taking care of his son, crawled into the bottle. Not long after, Adam was dumped at a Catholic orphanage. He was rescued by Renata, an American who was doing research on her Ph.D. She adopted him and after living in Philadelphia for a while, moved them to Minnesota where she got a new job. Insecure, shy and unable to feel comfortable enough to converse with other kids. What he CAN do, and sees as his lifesaver, is play basketball, so well, in fact, that he's noticed by Carli, an equally skilled basketball player who is recovering from a knee injury. She convinces him to talk with a friend of her dad who coaches an AAU team. It's there that Adam meets Devin and Khalil, both black and incredibly good players. It takes a while for Adam to adjust and let them get to know him, but since basketball is his lifeline and his true language, they 'get' him pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Kase, a football player is making his life miserable at school, he's unable to decipher what is going on with Carli, his mom is developing a romantic relationship with a fellow professor who has two young daughters and he's worried about his best friend Barry. Barry's picked on at school, is working on his black belt in Tae Kwon Do and lives in a trailer with his alcoholic mom and her current boyfriend. All in all, a lot of stuff for a teen who is fluent in English and has a healthy childhood with both parents to have to deal with. Lacking all three, sometimes has him walking the edge. Several events happen very close together, threatening Barry, a couple of Adam's teammates and Adam himself that force him out of his shaky comfort zone and make this an amazing book. Great for sports fans, those who like tension, friendship and courage.
    more
  • Matthew Landis
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, I'm a huge Geoff Herbach fan (STUIPD FAST series, FAT BOY VS. THE CHEERLEADERS). I believe him to be one of the funniest YA writers I've come across--or perhaps it's just that his sense of humor so closely aligns with what I generally think is hilarious. Point being, I'm declaring my bias, so take this review with whatever grain of salt you think required. HOOPER is beautiful. It's funny, with many laugh out loud moments, and authentically portrays racism, the immigrant experience, a Admittedly, I'm a huge Geoff Herbach fan (STUIPD FAST series, FAT BOY VS. THE CHEERLEADERS). I believe him to be one of the funniest YA writers I've come across--or perhaps it's just that his sense of humor so closely aligns with what I generally think is hilarious. Point being, I'm declaring my bias, so take this review with whatever grain of salt you think required. HOOPER is beautiful. It's funny, with many laugh out loud moments, and authentically portrays racism, the immigrant experience, adoption, and the inner workings of the AAU system for elite teen players. But what I loved most was the flawed nature of the characters. 15-year-old Adam Reed, the MC, is both a good and terrible friend; one minute he's defending his best friend, Barry, from a bully, and the next he ignores him to play basketball. Adam is also a flawed son, both grateful for his adoptive mom, Reneta, but other times dismissive and insensitive to the sacrifice she's made to take him in. This imperfection extends to almost all characters, captured perfectly in Adam's crush, Carli. She declares her feelings for him, and start semi-going out; but then a combination of peer pressure and self doubt make her straight up drop him. Adam spots her at the movies with another dude who likes her, and her Herbach makes you feel Adam's anger/insecurity. But even more so, we get to see the clear logic of forgiveness. "I am human, Adam," Carli says to him in her apology later, "I am going to make mistakes." That is a truth worth shouting from mountaintops. Perfect for upper MG and YA who do and don't play ball, HOOPER will might make you laugh or cry. It will most certainly challenge the presumptions you have of others, and hopefully give you a lens to have grace with their mistakes: your own.  
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    The great thing about this book is how Geoff Herbach shows readers that athletics can give a kid hope. Hope for a future he or she has never considered, or hope for a future he or she didn't think possible.Herbach's hero, Adam, is a Polish kid who essentially was orphaned. When he comes to the United States, it is with all of that hope that so many refugees and immigrants come with: the hope that he can make his dreams come true. If you think that Herbach is sending a message with this, I suspec The great thing about this book is how Geoff Herbach shows readers that athletics can give a kid hope. Hope for a future he or she has never considered, or hope for a future he or she didn't think possible.Herbach's hero, Adam, is a Polish kid who essentially was orphaned. When he comes to the United States, it is with all of that hope that so many refugees and immigrants come with: the hope that he can make his dreams come true. If you think that Herbach is sending a message with this, I suspect you might be correct.Not that Adam is perfect. He makes silly mistakes, borne of both being a teenager and adapting to a new culture. He likes a girl who may or may not like him back (whether you're a native US citizen or not, understanding teenage girls is a tricky path for teenage boys), and he may or may not have outraged and/or hurt teammates, classmates, opponents, and perhaps the woman who adopted him.In other words, Adam is a pretty typical high school boy.What differentiates him is his skill at basketball. For Adam, this is another piece of hope, but it's also a means to escape his lingering heartache and distract himself from the stresses in his life.One of the most difficult readers to hook is the teenage male. Geoff Herbach has given them a pretty fantastic slam dunk. GET IT?
    more
  • Lottie Jensen
    January 1, 1970
    Hooper by Geoff Herbach, was definitely not one of my favorites books, I was surprised to see so many good reviews on good reads. The story follows Adam Reed, an adopted high school student originally from Poland. Being from a difficult home he has attachment issues and finds basketball as a haven from everything, it's a place where he doesn't have to be smart to make it. And he is really good. When he joins a college focused AAU team, things start becoming more difficult though. When he gets in Hooper by Geoff Herbach, was definitely not one of my favorites books, I was surprised to see so many good reviews on good reads. The story follows Adam Reed, an adopted high school student originally from Poland. Being from a difficult home he has attachment issues and finds basketball as a haven from everything, it's a place where he doesn't have to be smart to make it. And he is really good. When he joins a college focused AAU team, things start becoming more difficult though. When he gets in trouble with the law, he has to choose, between basketball and his new friends (and girlfriend), or the family he has created himself. I thought the story and plot were fine, but it was hard for me to follow the writing, I just thought it was written badly. It had the feeling that he was telling the story in his own broken English, but not in a good immersive way. I would recommend this book to people who like sports novels, it was definitely a good read, but I just found the writing hard to read.
    more
  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so glad to have given this book a chance. Stupid Fast is an incredible read, but it actually speaks more to my students struggling with mental illness and family issues than it does my sports enthusiasts. Not a problem; I just market Stupid Fast to students I know will like it.This time, I was looking specifically for a basketball book, so I wasn't sure this book was it.It turns out this title has a better balance between basketball and life. I really enjoyed it.I give it four stars because I'm so glad to have given this book a chance. Stupid Fast is an incredible read, but it actually speaks more to my students struggling with mental illness and family issues than it does my sports enthusiasts. Not a problem; I just market Stupid Fast to students I know will like it.This time, I was looking specifically for a basketball book, so I wasn't sure this book was it.It turns out this title has a better balance between basketball and life. I really enjoyed it.I give it four stars because I found Adam's voice to be a bit unnatural and clunky to start. I understand that he's an English learner, but it was hard to follow. And this issue becomes less and less as the book goes on. I wish it wasn't so pronounced at the start. Even his thoughts were narrated in short, choppy sentences.I ended up staying up to finish it. A very quick read. Very little content. The protagonist LOVES the word "shit" which turns out to be a bit funny and sad at the same time. Kids will like it. Basketball, tragedy, friendship, loyalty, romance. The book has it all.
    more
  • Liz Haggerty
    January 1, 1970
    I’m always looking for sports books to add to my collection and I’m really glad I came across this one. This is a great story that interweaves basketball, friendships, and a hint of social justice. Adam Reed was adopted from Poland as a child and brought to America. His adoptive Mom encourages him to participate in Sports and he discovers that he is really good at basketball. He struggles to fit in and to keep his temper under control. When basketball creates an amazing opportunity, Adam has to I’m always looking for sports books to add to my collection and I’m really glad I came across this one. This is a great story that interweaves basketball, friendships, and a hint of social justice. Adam Reed was adopted from Poland as a child and brought to America. His adoptive Mom encourages him to participate in Sports and he discovers that he is really good at basketball. He struggles to fit in and to keep his temper under control. When basketball creates an amazing opportunity, Adam has to figure out how to balance his family, old friends, and new friends.I thought this book was great! Adam struggles with identity, his heritage, English, and friendships. It’s great for anyone who likes basketball but also has enough other things going on to keep others interested. Some swearing and talk of alcohol abuse.
    more
  • Carrie G
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not a sports fan. I'm not a basketball fan. But I am DEFINITELY a fan of "Hooper"!!! This book, while it was about basketball, was really about what being a friend mean, what being family means, and finding a way to live your life that you can actually live with. No, I didn't get 90% of the basketball terminology and the scenes from the practices and games didn't particularly interest me. But there was SO MUCH MORE to this book! The characters were so real and multifaceted! You cared about t I'm not a sports fan. I'm not a basketball fan. But I am DEFINITELY a fan of "Hooper"!!! This book, while it was about basketball, was really about what being a friend mean, what being family means, and finding a way to live your life that you can actually live with. No, I didn't get 90% of the basketball terminology and the scenes from the practices and games didn't particularly interest me. But there was SO MUCH MORE to this book! The characters were so real and multifaceted! You cared about them - cheered their successes, mourned their losses, and rued their faults. The plot moved along at a good pace - internal dialog and flashbacks mixed with action. I canNOT wait to put this book in the hands of my students this fall! ***A great choice for teens who like Carl Deuker.
    more
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Reed hasn't had an easy life. He was born in Poland and endured a tragic childhood that left him in the Midwestern United States with his foster mom, Renata. Basketball is his life. His English is flawed and he doesn't understand much of what is happening around him. His best friend is Barry, who is more than a little unusual. This is his story of finding out who he is, who his friends and family are, and learning to navigate in a complex world. Great story of self discovery. Has a side of Adam Reed hasn't had an easy life. He was born in Poland and endured a tragic childhood that left him in the Midwestern United States with his foster mom, Renata. Basketball is his life. His English is flawed and he doesn't understand much of what is happening around him. His best friend is Barry, who is more than a little unusual. This is his story of finding out who he is, who his friends and family are, and learning to navigate in a complex world. Great story of self discovery. Has a side of love, understanding differences, racism, social media abuse, and complex family relationships. Some light language but nothing inappropriate. Lots of technical basketball, but it can be skimmed to still get the story.
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I received this through Edelweiss. Adam was adopted from Poland, where he was abused and abandoned by his birth parents. Fearing that his adoptive mom will do the same thing, Adam feels that his talent as a basketball player is the only way he will be enough to keep his new life. Adam is forced to face bullying at school, while also managing his identity within this new environment. As Adam continues to rise in the basketball ranks, he receives more and more discrimination, but must also come to I received this through Edelweiss. Adam was adopted from Poland, where he was abused and abandoned by his birth parents. Fearing that his adoptive mom will do the same thing, Adam feels that his talent as a basketball player is the only way he will be enough to keep his new life. Adam is forced to face bullying at school, while also managing his identity within this new environment. As Adam continues to rise in the basketball ranks, he receives more and more discrimination, but must also come to terms with racism and its impacts on his new friends.This was a unique exploration of social issues. I thought the novel was interesting. I think the tone of voice needed to be tweaked a bit. However, the story was still relevant to today's teen.
    more
  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Adam Reed (16) has a ticket to a better life for himself, and it is basketball. In the short couple of years since arriving from Poland, Adam continues to improve his game on a daily basis because of his drive to get better. Because of this, Adam gets selected to play on one of the top Minnesota 17U AAU basketball teams. After a few glitches at the beginning, Adam begins to fit in and the team begins to mesh well together. An arrest of one of Adam's teammates turns the team upside down. Will the Adam Reed (16) has a ticket to a better life for himself, and it is basketball. In the short couple of years since arriving from Poland, Adam continues to improve his game on a daily basis because of his drive to get better. Because of this, Adam gets selected to play on one of the top Minnesota 17U AAU basketball teams. After a few glitches at the beginning, Adam begins to fit in and the team begins to mesh well together. An arrest of one of Adam's teammates turns the team upside down. Will the team get over this difficulty? Themes of bullying, racism, teamwork, and overcoming obstacles are portrayed. Adam's character is developed so well that readers will be thinking about him long after they finish the novel. One of my favorite sports books to date! #mustreadof2018
    more
  • Maria Burnham
    January 1, 1970
    You know, I was a bit disappointed in this book, mainly because of the tone of the narrator. I understand that the main character is an immigrant from Poland, so the tone is going to be simple. However, the storyline fell a little flat for me. Part romance, part pursuing-your-passion, Adam seemed like a lost character, and I didn't feel much for him as I read this book. Although I'm glad to support a local author (and I LOVED that Saint Cloud is mentioned in the book!), I'm only giving this one You know, I was a bit disappointed in this book, mainly because of the tone of the narrator. I understand that the main character is an immigrant from Poland, so the tone is going to be simple. However, the storyline fell a little flat for me. Part romance, part pursuing-your-passion, Adam seemed like a lost character, and I didn't feel much for him as I read this book. Although I'm glad to support a local author (and I LOVED that Saint Cloud is mentioned in the book!), I'm only giving this one three stars.
    more
  • Mary Lou
    January 1, 1970
    I though the writing was clunky. It underestimated the YA reader. I suppose that part of the author's excuse is that the narrator's first language is Polish. The story was like a TV after school special. The characters were one dimensional. A good book for a young person who is a non-reader. Not good YA literature that makes you wish the person wrote adult literature and not a springboard to adult reading. I felt the author underestimates the YA reader.
    more
  • Trever
    January 1, 1970
    I thought I was going to like this book more. With short chapters I thought the book was going to move along at a fast clip, but there seemed to be too much attached to the book. The main character who is a sophomore had a lot going on: girls, bullies, friend issues, being poor, being adopted, mother issues, race issues, not being good enough, it kept going on and on not so much on the basketball side either.
    more
  • Kimberly Larsen
    January 1, 1970
    Adam is an orphaned Polish boy, now living in the Minnesota with his adopted mother Renata. He is a basketball star but the trauma he has experienced plus his lack of confidence with the English language have led him to be somewhat of an outsider at his high school. With the help of Carlie (a female basketball star) he learns to be a better person and a great player. Great for sports fans as well as those who like realistic fiction with life lessons.
    more
  • Jenni Heins
    January 1, 1970
    Local author - teaches at MSU-Mankato. I was reading to see if it was appropriate for my 14-year old son. I think I'll have him wait due to the high volume of profanity usage. The writing style spoken in the first person narrative by the 16-year old Polish protagonist didn't catch me at first. But I found myself getting into the story as it developed.
    more
  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    I loved almost everything about this book. The main character is written so well. You can guess a bit at the plot, but it's just so satisfying how it all spools out. I don't know that much about basketball, but that didn't matter.
Write a review