Off the rim by Sonya Spreen Bates
Orca Sports series. Orca Book Publishers, 2015. ISBN
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Themes: Basketball, Cyberbullying, Mystery Adventure. Dylan Lane is in his American school's basketball team and they are on the brink of making the playoffs. This is their last chance, with team members facing College and post-school career choices. Basketball plays and training become very important, as does improving the playing skills of Noah, the weakest link in the team. Dylan's girlfriend Jenna is in the girls' team and they have already made it to playoffs. Will Dylan's team fall short? Can Jenna help? But this is not the only drama Jenna and Dylan face. For some reason Jenna is being targeted with a string of texts and emails that threaten her if she does not stay 'quiet'. And when these threats become attempts at running Dylan and Jenna off the road it is obvious that this is very serious. With Noah's help, eventually they work towards unravelling the mystery . . . and play basketball for all they are worth.
This is a book full of the drama of a sporting contest and a life-or-death mystery with cyber threats. It is exciting and the language of the basketball sporting contest will appeal to those steeped in the sport. With characters on the edge of adult life, this is probably suited to high school readership, but there will be some younger readers who are basketball buffs who would also enjoy the action. Set in the USA and written by a Canadian writer who is a resident of South Australia, this book is a cross-cultural experience, but young readers who are consumers of American culture through movies will have no problem connecting with the story.
Recommended for readers aged 13+ (especially those that love basketball).