Sooley

by Grisham, John,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: On Order 93 copies
140 people on waitlist
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Summary
New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel "Sooley" Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dreams...and even bigger challenges off the court.

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.
Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.
During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it's just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn't immediately needed.
But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he's dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team los­ing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?
Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham's unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "It's no secret that Grisham is a baseball fan, but it's not as well known that he's also an enthusiastic follower of college basketball. In his new novel, he tells the story of 17-year-old Samuel Sooleymon, a Sudanese boy who, like so many of his friends, dreams of playing basketball in the U.S. Unlike many of those friends, Sooley sees his dream come true, only to be hit by tragedy: a civil war brings devastation to his South Sudanese village, and Sooley finds himself, all the way on the other side of the world, fighting to be the best basketball player he can be so he can save his family. It's an intensely moving story, told with the same eye for character and descriptive detail Grisham brings to his crime novels. His occasional forays into general fiction are usually interesting, but this one is considerably more than that. It's skillfully written, with a deeply compelling central character and a story that is full of raw emotion and suspense. A film version seems almost obligatory, but don't wait for that.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Any new Grisham novel draws readers across genres, and this one will add sports fans to his legion of devotees."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Grisham (A Time for Mercy) shoots an airball in this sappy novel about a South Sudanese teen's journey from his impoverished home to the world of American sports. Samuel Sooleymon, 17, described as the best basketball player in his village of Lotta, is invited to try out for South Sudan's national basketball team amid the civil war's relative peace. Despite undeveloped passing and shooting skills, Sooleymon's natural athleticism appeals to the national team's coach, Ecko Lam. With Sooleymon away in the U.S. for an exhibition game, a rebel rampage through Lotta is described in grisly detail, with the fate of his family uncertain. When Sooleymon learns of the attack, he's determined to return home, but Lam convinces him there's nothing he can do. Eventually, he accepts a full scholarship at North Carolina Central, where he's nicknamed Sooley, dedicates himself to practicing, and determines to gain attention from the NBA so he can earn the money needed to bring his family to the U.S. As Sooley's star begins to rise, though, Grisham tosses in a jarring tragic episode, and clunky foreshadowing and thin characters, such as Sooley's love interest, don't help. This is a disappointing outing from a writer capable of much better. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Co. (Apr.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Sudanese -- United States -- Fiction.
Basketball players -- Fiction.
College athletes -- Fiction.
North Carolina -- Fiction.
Sports fiction.
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 355 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780385547680
0385547684
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