Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Genre: Sports Fiction

Number of Pages: 445

Gene Luen Yang has always been fascinated by comics and as an adult loves to draw his own in addition to being a high school teacher. He never got why so many people liked sports, however. He wasn’t very good at any sports and often got hurt in some way while trying to participate in them. Eventually he gave up on sports altogether. That all changes when he starts hearing about the basketball team at his Catholic High School, called the Dragons, and their wish to become the California State Basketball Champions. Once he starts digging into this story he learns that it has been many decades in the making, which is partly why the school is so revved up for this season. He decides to write a graphic novel explaining not only the school’s history but also documenting what they are hoping will be a monumental season. He even writes about his struggle to properly depict some of the more difficult incidents from the Dragons’ past that have led to this moment. Can the Dragons finally make it all the way to the end?

This graphic novel is unique, compelling, and enthralling whether a reader likes sports or not. It’s easy to see how Gene Luen Yang got caught up in the excitement of a school desperately wanting that state championship, but like many sports stories he discovers there is a lot of history with this team. A lot of people can relate to this story for one reason or another, but in the end it’s easy to want a team like this to succeed. Highly recommended, but especially for sports readers and reluctant readers.

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