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Books and Movies Section

Do you have a basketball-related book or movie you would like to see listed here? Email us with the book or movie title, along with author or other information, and your review of it.

Mason Dixon: Basketball Disasters by Claudia Mills

Book Report by Skye Hamilton, age 10:       

        This story takes place in many different settings such as Mason Dixon's house, the Y's (the YMCA) Basketball court, Mason's school, Mason's neighbours lawn, and the basketball court at Mason's school.
        The main characters in this story are Mason Dixon, Brody Baxter, Mason's human  best friend, Nora, Mason's other best friend, Dunk, Mason's worst enemy, Mason's mother and father, and Mason's best friend, Dog, who is a golden retriever. P.S Dog is short for Dog Of Greatness.

        These are some of the other people you will find in this story. Ponytail is a girl on the orange shirt Basketball team that was mean to everyone on Mason's team. Dylan was a chubby kid that had no talent for Basketball at all but he never quit on Mason's team. Coach Joe was Mason's 4th Grade teacher but he loved every sport there is so he would rather be called Coach Joe.
        At the start of the book Brody wanted Mason to play basketball but Mason NEVER wanted to try something new. He wanted to stick with the old and NOT try the new ever but when Brody convinced Mason to play basketball Coach Joe needed a new coach so Mason's dad volunteered. For Mason that was a disaster. Mason was walking Dog and on the side of Mrs. Mackenzie's lawn there was a sign that said NO DOGS and it had a silhouette of a dog with a red line through it. Mason had no idea what that was for. He thought about Dog but they never threw a ball on Mrs. Mackenzie's lawn but did it mean for just Dog specifically? Mason didn't know. Dunk was Mason's worst enemy and he apparently joined basketball and played for the blue shirt team and all the mean kids were on that team so it wasn't a pleasant FIRST game of the season for The Fighting Bulldogs. The score was 46-8 at the end of the game. Dunk was calling every person a loser. At the middle of the of the story Mason twisted/rolled his ankle because Ponytail took a shot and landed on his foot so for the first time in Mason's life he actually wanted to be playing basketball when he couldn't. Mason was doing a report on Ben Franklin and Dunk lost his book so he had to use Mason's but when he and his dog Wolf came over he just fooled around and threw balls onto Mrs. Mackenzie's lawn. Mason warned Dunk not to but Dunk refused to listen to Mason. Then an animal officer came but just when Wolf took a giant poop on Mrs. Mackenzie's lawn and Dunk got a ticket and his father threatened to kick Dunk off the team. The final game of the season was against the Killer Whales (Dunk's team) and it was a close game. Mason got the winning basket 21-19.

        I like this book because it proves that trying something new that you didn't think you liked could end up being your favourite thing you've ever done. That is what happened in this story so you should read this book.

Fadeaway by Steve Barwin

“Renna Rashad is not only captain, she's also de facto coach of her basketball team. But when a rival from an opposing team takes a vacant spot on the team, Renna faces some tough choices she wasn't prepared for. It starts with a shove in the hall, then a slight on the team's on-line blog, followed by exclusion from a team social event, and finally an uncalled-for move on the court that leaves her injured. Will Renna admit she's the target of bullying before her beloved team is torn apart?”

Review by Talia Angell, age 11:

Fade away is mainly about bullying and how to deal with it. Renna (the main character) and her basketball team win the championship but then one of her best friends and team mates moves to Vancouver. She gets a new team mate who ends up being the captain from the team they beat in the championships! Kate (the new team mate) isn’t too happy about becoming the new girl. She used to be the captain and most valuable player and wants to take over. That is all that I will tell you otherwise I will almost completely spoil the story.

What I do like about the story is that it’s interesting and it’s not confusing like some other stories. What I do not like about the story is that it is quite predictable and that the same thing happens over and over again. But the ending is just marvellous.

I would rate it about 6 out of 10 stars.

Pistol Pete Heir To A Dream by Pete Maravich and Darrel Campbell

Pistol Pete Maravich could do it all on the basketball court. It was his life off the court that gave him trouble.

Pistol Pete Maravich was a novelty turned phenomenon. Never failing to draw a crowd. "Pistol Pete" was a memorable sight on the basketball court with his forever-shaggy hair and floppy white socks. But no one could shoot the basketball like coach Press Maravich's controversial son. No one in high school. No one in college. No one in the NBA. And in the process, Hall-of-Famer Pistol Pete Maravich revolutionized the tall man's game.

A three-time All-American at LSU, Maravich still holds a host of NCAA scoring records, including highest average in a season (44.5), highest average per game in a career (44.2), most points scored in a season (1381) and most points scored in a career (3667). And in an NBA career cut short by injury, he's still in the record books in a number of offensive categories from play with the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans and Utah Jazz, and the Boston Celtics.

But Pistol Pete Heir to a Dream also chronicles a more sinister side to the fame - a life nearly shattered by personal tragedy and alcoholism. It's a story where the off-court battles were sometimes more spectacular than the contest on the boards. It's a story of rebellion and despair and - ultimately – triumph through faith.

This is a must read for any basketball person who is interested in being like the kind of basketball player that Michael Jordon wanted to be like. Most people are familiar with the saying, “I want to be like Mike.” However, do we ever stop to ask ourselves, who did Mike want to be like? Michael Jordon made #23 one of the most famous numbers in basketball, but it was Pistol Pete who made the number famous to Michael Jordon. Then take a next step further and ask, who did Pistol Pete want to be like? Read this Autobiography to find out.

The Pistol Birth of a Legend (DVD)

They said he was too short. They said he was a misfit. They said he didn't know how to play basketball. Pete Maravich knew better. His father had taught him that with discipline, dedication, desire and confidence, he could achieve any dream. Pete Maravich's dream was to become one of basketball's greatest players.

The Pistol Birth of a Legend is the uplifting and inspirational story of how Pete Maravich started to make his dream come true. It was a dream that propelled him to become the youngest inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Pete Maravich revolutionized the game of basketball. He showed how family, hard work, and a whole lot of heart could make anything possible.

"Movie carries G-Rating; G as in great!" - Billy Watkins, The Clarion Ledger

The Pistol The Birth of a Legend stars: Millie Perkins - Nick Benedict - Adam Guier - Tom Lester - Boots Garland

Producers: Darrel Campbell and Rodney Stone










The Pistol Birth of a Legend Inspirational Edition DVD

James Naismith: the man who invented basketball By Rob Rains, Hellen Carpenter

It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man,who wanted to be a medical doctor, or if not that, a minister (in fact, he was both), came to create a game that has endured for over a century. This book reveals how Naismith invented basketball in part to find an indoor activity to occupy students in the winter months. When he realized that the key to his game was that men could not run with the ball, and that throwing and jumping would eliminate the roughness of force, he was on to something. And while Naismith thought that other sports provided better exercise, he was pleased to create a game that “anyone could play.” With unprecedented access to The Naismith archives and documents, Rains and Carpenter chronicle how Naismith developed the 13 rules of basketball, coached the game at the University of Kansas, establishing College Basketball in the process and was honoured for his work at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. Rob Rains is a former National League beat writer for USA Today's Baseball Weekly and for three years covered the St. Louis Cardinals for The St. Louis Globe-Democrat. He is the author or co-author of autobiographies or biographies of Tony La Russa, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Jack Buck, Red Schoendienst and many other sports celebrities. Hellen Carpenter is the granddaughter of James Naismith. For more than 40 years she had in her possession more than 200 documents from Naismith's files which were instrumental in crafting this biography.

Slam Dunk By Kate Jaimet

Sixteen-year-old Salvador "Slam" Amaro thinks being the assistant coach of the Brookfield High School girls' basketball team will be an easy gig. Show up, run a few drills and pad his resume; so he can win a spot on the Ontario Provincial Under-17 team. But Slam's job suddenly gets a lot harder when the girls' coach and her daughter, the star point-guard, vanish after being threatened. Getting to the bottom of their disappearance puts Slam in confrontation with a mysterious stalker. But that's not his only problem. With the girls facing playoff elimination, Slam has to come up with some new coaching strategies while he battles some tough competitors for a place on the Ontario squad. Author Kate Jaimet is a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen and a former high school basketball player. The mother of a baby and a kindergartner, she lives, works and battles sleep deprivation in Ottawa, Ontario. Visit her website at

Sports Heroes Basketball By Mark Littleton

I want to thanks one of our young basketball Athletes at Stony Plain Basketball, Arnold Verge, for introducing me to this series of books. The sports Heroes series highlights the careers of some of the greatest people in spots. Every athlete and coach featured in the series has inspired millions of fans not only with their ability, but also with their hard work and faith in God. Author Mark Littleton is a graduate of Colgate University & Dallas Theological Seminary. In addition, to an extensive speaking schedule, Littleton is currently senior pastor at Westbridge Church in Des Moines, Iowa. A former youth pastor, he is the best-selling author of several books for teens including the Gold Medallion Award nominee "Beefin' Up: Real Feed for Amazin' Grazin'" & "The Truth About Rock." He and wife Jeanette make their home in West Des Moines, Iowa.

What the Book Says About Sport By Stuart Weir

Stuart Weir sent me this book to read and I thought I would mention it to those are interested in a theological perspective of sport.

“There are few things in life that generate more passion than sport, whether you are a player or a spectator. Is sport a legitimate area for Christian involvement or a worldly preoccupation that committed Christians should steer clear of? Are competition and the will to win in conflict with a Christian ethic based on humility and putting other people first? What about Sunday sport? I sport a big distraction from our Christian lives or an evangelistic opportunity to be salt and light in a world that needs Christ? These and other issues about the interface between Christianity and sport are addresses by Stuart Weir who is team leader, International Ministry at Christian Sports. A member of Kidlington Baptist Church in the UK.”

Big and Hairy

Here is a movie that two of our young basketball athletes watched and then gave to me to watch. They enjoyed it so much that I thought I would let you know about it so your family could enjoy it too. It is definitely a movie for the family and the young athletes will get a real kick out of it, however, the older athletes might think it a bit corny. Regardless, it has a great message of fair play, friendship, sensitivity and teamwork. It is produced by Feature Films For Families.

The movie is approximately 94 minute in length starring Richard Thomas (the famous John-boy from the hit TV series The Waltons). Twelve-year-old Picasso Dewlap is new to Cedar Island and is having trouble making friends. Things get worse when he loses a game for the community’s basketball team known as the “Lawn Ornaments.” In a strange sequence of events Picasso meets Ed, a young Sasquatch, who he discovers is a natural basketball player. With Ed playing, Picasso’s team begins to winning every game and soon Picasso becomes the most popular kid in his school. But he soon learns that true friendship is more important than winning games or popularity.

Long Shot by Mike Lupica

Long Shot is about a boy named Pedro Morales and his friend Ned Hancock. They both like playing on their school basketball team but Pedro is pretty quiet and Ned is good at everything. When it was time to elect a class president everyone figured Ned would be it but Pedro decided to try for it too. This causes some problems for Pedro on the basketball court. Pedro had some hard work to do if he was going to keep running for class president and play on the basketball team.

My favourite part of the book happens during the tournament but you will have to read the book to see what actually happens! This book teaches about not giving up. I really liked it and rate it 10 out of 10. It makes me want to read more of Mike Lupica’s books.

Submitted by Arnold Verge
age 9

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