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The Playbook
Cover of The Playbook
The Playbook
52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life
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New York Times bestseller ∙ Indie Next Pick
You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives?

Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.

New York Times bestseller ∙ Indie Next Pick
You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives?

Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.

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Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    970
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    5 - 7

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including Booked and The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include Surf's Up, a picture book, Crush: Love Poems for Teenagers, and He Said She Said, a YA novel.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 2, 2017
    Newbery Medalist Alexander (The Crossover) uses basketball as a metaphor for growth on and off the court in this stirring collection of 52 motivational poems-as-rules, grouped into four thematic sections (Grit, Motivation, Passion, and Teamwork and Resilience) that correspond to the quarters of the game. Quotations from players and coaches from across the athletic spectrum (Roberto Clemente, Mia Hamm, Pat Riley, and many more), as well as from figures like Sonia Sotomayor and Oprah Winfrey, supplement the always encouraging tone of Alexander’s poems: “When you’re hot, shoot./ When you’re not, pass./ Champions hide/ their weaknesses/ with their strengths,” reads Rule #19, framed against a silhouette of a basketball spinning on a fingertip. Spiked with accents of basketball orange, the book’s sharp, eye-catching design prominently features Neave’s dynamic b&w photographs of basketball players of all ages and colors, shooting hoops in gymnasiums, parks, and street courts. Ages 10–12.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2017
    Building on the great success of his Newbery-winning The Crossover (2014), Alexander provides advice and life lessons to young readers, drawn mostly from the world of sports and organized by a schema of "rules."Instead of chapters, the work begins with a preface called "Warm-up: The Rules" and is then divided into the four quarters of a game, each having a theme: "grit," "motivation," "focus," and "teamwork and resilience." "Passion" is included as a half-time consideration, and there is an "overtime" look at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There are brief profiles of athletes Wilma Rudolph, LeBron James, Pele, and Venus and Serena Williams, along with maxims and personal anecdotes from both male and female sports figures who've excelled in different arenas as well as a few nonathletes, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Sonya Sotomayor, and Nelson Mandela. Throughout there is poetry, verses that remind us why Alexander connects with readers. "Rule #45 / A loss is inevitable / like rain in spring. / True champions / learn / to dance / through / the storm." The advice never feels heavy-handed, and the author's voice shines through. The design is as much a part of the book as its lively text, set in varying font sizes and colors (black, white, or orange), differing layouts, and judicious use of photographs and illustrations. This will appeal to fans of Alexander's previous middle-grade novels as well as young sports fans. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    January 1, 2017
    Grades 7-10 Alexander uses sports as a metaphor for life in this earnest gathering of personal reminiscences. I was tall. I thought I could ball, he writes. Turns out, my passion was on a different court. He's referring to the tennis court, where he worked his way to excellence after disappointing tries at basketball and football. Still, whatever the gameathletic or otherwisehe offers advice from his experience. Many of these rules are similar in principle: learn from failures, accept and appreciate coaching, always be prepared to take the shot when it comes, and know the rules of playbut say yes to the possibility of sometimes making up your own. With its black-and-orange color scheme, the page design intersperses digestible passages of narrative with basketball-themed black-and-white photos and graphics, and pithy advice from high-profile icons of achievement. General life advice, however sound, will never be a slam dunk with teens (ask any parent), but the b-ball motif adds at least some palatability, and the lessons embedded in the author's own story may prove persuasive.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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    HMH Books
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52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life
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