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Book Review: Sooley

Sooley by John Grisham is a novel about a teenage boy from South Sudan who goes to the United States to play basketball. Samuel (Sooley) loves the game and spends countless hours playing on the local dirt courts. He is a growing boy, with some amazing athletic skills and basketball skills still in development.

He lives in a supportive and loving family, with his parents, two brothers, and a sister. When he gets invited to attend the US tournament, the whole village celebrates and sends him off on his trip. He continues to work hard on his skills development, training, and practicing. He is taken in by one of the Colleges and waits patiently to get his chance to play. As the civil war is raging in Sudan, Sooley's family is struck by a horrible tragedy. Helpless, Sooley is focused on succeeding and helping his family. He is shown a great deal of support from his coaches and his teammates. Day by day he practices, goes to school dreaming that one day his family will join him in the US. After being on a bench for some time, he finally gets a chance to play in the game and he shines. He becomes a superstar and most talked-about college basketball player. Dreams are coming through for him. But things can change in one night....

This novel is basketball-heavy, but with a strong story and characters. Even though I am not a super sports fan, I did enjoy reading this book. However, I must say, I did not like story development toward the end. I really wish it had a different ending. Overall, unless you have zero interest in the sport, this book is a good read.


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