________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 6 . . . . November 16, 2001

cover Shooting Star. (Sports Stories 46).

Cynthia Bates.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2001.
102 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55028-726-5 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55028-727-3 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Basketball stories.
Racism-Juvenile fiction.
Family-Juvenile fiction.
Vietnamese Canadians-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Helen Arkos.

*** / 4


"Hey, wait a minute," Pauline called, having followed the girls out. "What's this all about, anyway?"

Quyen slowed down once she reached the hallway. She waited for Pauline to catch up.

"Are you trying to tell me you didn't know Anna Archer is on that team?" Quyen demanded in disbelief.

"Well, of course I knew she's on the team. I'm the assistant coach!" Pauline was obviously as exasperated with the conversation as Quyen. "What's the big deal?"

Amelia turned to Quyen, whose dark eyes were bright with annoyance. "Quyen," she said, "Ms. Bradford must not have told Pauline everything that happened with Anna."

After a misunderstanding with her coach about attending cross-country practices, Quyen Ha vows not to participate on any school teams for the rest of the year. She soon regrets her impulsive and angry decision as she watches her friends and former team mates enjoy their involvement on the volleyball team. Feeling restless from a lack of activity and competition, when Quyen gets an opportunity to play basketball on the Shooting Stars, a club team, she finds the offer compelling. The games and practices conflict with her Vietnamese classes, and Quyen first has to convince her strict father to allow her to join the club. She also has to come to terms with playing on the team with Anna Archer, a bully who terrorized her best friend, Amelie, the year before.

     Quyen is a talented athlete whose skill and sportsmanship soon help to raise the level of play among the entire team. Her strength of character allows her to stand up to Anna's intimidation and insults. At the same time, Quyen is experiencing difficulties at home. Both her parents seem stressed. Her father is often involved in hushed telephone calls. Her mother often retreats to bed in the evening after the family meal.

     Shooting Star is one of the "Sports Stories" series. These books combine conflict in the lives of the characters with the sports action. Stories can be read on two levels. The sports issues involve team play, coaching and the whole psychology of sport, while the human side of the stories increases the dimensions of the characters.

     "Sports Stories" characters face the same issues that young readers experience in their lives and on their teams. The stories help to articulate the problems and show possibly how to overcome them.


Helen Arkos is the teacher-librarian at John Henderson Junior High School in Winnipeg.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364