Bennett Ryan, a star basketball player, is forced to move when her widowed mother takes a new job as a principal. The new school is not only several hours away from her old school and team, but it is also the school of her former rivals. Bennett struggles to adapt to her new school and gain acceptance with teammates who consider her a rival. In the process, Bennet makes a surprising connection with Matti, a girl on the Autism Spectrum who is also the daughter of her new coach.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
I am not a big sports fan, but I really liked this book. In the Swish is a story about basketball, friendship, and teamwork. The messages of resilience, tenacity, and positivity really resonated with me. The characters are relatable and endearing. Bennett was a great role model with lots of admirable qualities. I love Matti and she steals the scene every single time. The author is sensitive in her depiction of Matti's Autism. I also love that there is no love interest! The author makes a perfectly engaging story without adding a love triangle. There is a lot of basketball in the book, and for someone like me, the descriptions of the plays and such can be a bit heavy.
Buy this book for girls 12 and older or those who play basketball at the high school level. For those who are not huge sports fans, however, I recommend borrowing In the Swish from the library.
Even readers who aren't big sports fans will cheer for Bennett (and Matti) in this coming of age story of friendship, change, and teamwork!
This is a story kids will want to read on their own. It is a definite "must read" for athletes and creates opportunities to talk about empathy, compassion, and being able to step back from yourself with honesty. All great topics for a teen book club.
11 and Up
12 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14
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|Publisher||Knopf Books for Young Readers, Imprint Knopf Doubleday © 2016|
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|Author||Stacy Barnett Mozer|
|Publisher||Spellbound River Press © 2016|