69 pages 2 hours read

Walter Dean Myers


Fiction | Book | Middle Grade | Published in 1981

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.



  • Genre: Fiction; young adult sports/realistic
  • Originally Published: 1981
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 740L; grades 7-9
  • Structure/Length: 9 chapters; approx. 224 pages
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Seventeen-year-old Lonnie Jackson has a reputation for athletic prowess on the basketball court and dreams of major success. His stardom and future are on the line, though, when his coach Cal receives a tempting offer to throw the city’s Tournament of Champions by benching Lonnie.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Profanity; protagonist drinks and smokes; sexual content; physical assault; murder; gang activity; firearms

Walter Dean Myers, Author

  • Bio: 1937-2014; born in in West Virginia; raised in Harlem; struggled in school but enjoyed reading and writing; joined the army after quitting high school; began writing inspired by his own experiences; writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young readers; won five Coretta Scott King Awards and two Newbery Honors; first writer to be awarded the Michael L. Printz Award (for Monster, 1999); received the ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award (1994), a lifetime achievement honor for YA literature; served as the Library of Congress’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature; prolific writer of over 110 works
  • Other Works: The Outside Shot (1984); Motown and Didi (1984); Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom (1997); Harlem Summer (2007)
  • Awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults (1981); Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee (1981)