Yang, Gene Luen. Dragon Hoops. Gene Luen Yang, Illus. Graphic novel. First Second, 03/2020. 448pp. $24.99. 978-1-626720-79-4. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 8-12.
This graphic novel follows Bishop O’Dowd High School’s 2014-2015 basketball team and their quest for a championship. The narrative includes details on the history of the men’s and women’s games (and how they were impacted by racism and sexism), as well as Yang’s own journey with sports and his career as a graphic novelist. Profiles of the players and the coach, himself an alum of O’Dowd (Oakland, California) and its basketball team, enrich the story. The concept of taking steps—taking risks—is woven throughout. Yang’s art brings the story to life with depictions of the basketball games which are so compelling one feels as if one is there, watching. He uses a full range of colors, muted in historical sections and flashbacks, more vibrant in the time of the story. Dragon Hoops’ appeal will reach far beyond basketball fans. Includes California-specific content.
Carla Riemer, Albany High School