Book Summary: Fast Break (7th grade)

Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates. He manages to get away with his deception until he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day, a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates. Jayson, at first, is combative, testing the Lawtons’ patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson’s new life is so ready to trust him–and even Jayson’s old friends give him a hard time now that he’s attending a school full of rich kids. It’s on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadium–home to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.

1 – Can you relate to Jayson? How? Have you been in a tough situation and didn’t know whether to react in anger or appreciation?

2 – Do you understand why Jayson has trouble in his foster family?

3 – Did you expect the ending?

4 – Do you think Jayson feels he doesn’t deserve his life? Does he?

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