In the Paint


165 pages
ISBN 1-55143-337-0
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Deborah Dowson

Deborah Dowson is a Canadian children’s librarian living in Powell,


Matt Hill wants to make the middle-school basketball team more than
anything in the world, but as a Grade 7 player competing against the
more experienced Grade 8s and 9s he worries that he doesn’t have a
chance. Matt is thrilled when he makes the team, even if it does mean
that he spends a lot of time on the bench. When he does get a chance to
play, he impresses the coach but draws ire from some teammates who feel
threatened by the competition. Grant Jackson is particularly hostile
both on and off the court, and Matt has to be very careful how he
handles himself so as not to be drawn into trouble that could jeopardize
his standing with the team. In the end it is Matt—not star player
Grant—who leads the team to victory.

There is more character development in this story than is often the
case in sports books. Matt is a very thoughtful, focused player who
tries to do the right thing even if that sometimes gets him in trouble.
As he adjusts to middle school he deals with issues of friendship and
loyalty, fitting in, and standing up for what you believe in. Yet even
with the development of the interpersonal relationships within the
story, the sports action is foremost, well told and exciting. This is a
very satisfying book for the basketball enthusiast. Recommended.


Rud, Jeff., “In the Paint,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,