airball cover

AIRBALL by LD Harkrader

Reviewed by Emma

Airball ia a captivating novel. It is a fictional book. The reader is immediately  introduced to the main character, Kirby Nickel. Kirby is by anyone’s standards a nerd. He loves math and has no physical ability whatsoever. The problem is, he lives in a basketball crazed town where everyone expects him to be shooting 50 3-pointers before breakfast. Stuckey, home to the amazing Brett McGrew, calls itself the basketball Capital of Kansas. Despite their reputation, most of the people in Stuckey can’t play basketball at all, including the 7th Grade basketball team at Stuckey Middle School, and everyone knows it. When an opportunity to play on the KU court with Brett McGrew arises, most people in the town are expecting a train wreck. Kirby has dreamt about meeting Brett McGrew for most of his life, and knows that trying out for the basketball team may be his only chance. And it may also be his only chance to meet his father who he has only ever dreamt since his mother abandoned him at his grandmother’s house.

This book is written in the first person. Kirby Nickel is the narrarator.. L.D. Harkrader writes this book amazingly, and his attention to detail is exquisite This writing style is my favorite. He uses a lot of modern words and sayings. The chapters are numbered, and the author does not switch perspectives. This book’s theme is obviously basketball, but it is also about finding who you are including falling on the cold gym floor along the way. 

Readers who enjoy books that tell a great and interesting story, like The Wednesday Wars, or The Misfits, will love this book. I love this book so much. It is not an action book, but there are many suspenseful and interesting moments. I think that anyone from age 9-13 will love this book as I do. It is easy to understand, yet incorporates complex sentence structure and detail. It has helped me to understand what basketball can really be about and that even the worst of the worst can be the team captain.


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