It’s Detroit, 1961. Fifteen-year-old Dale Wheeler, the son of an unemployed, alcoholic autoworker, has big dreams of leading his team to the City Basketball Championship. But his dream is shattered when Dale—the co-captain and top point guard—is cut from the team to make way for the son of a big money team sponsor.
His life in a tailspin, Dale finds a helping hand in Miss Furbish, the beautiful homeroom teacher whose well-meaning kindness gradually builds into a potentially dangerous passion. And in his lowest times, Dale gets a final shot at his dream: A hardscrabble team of street-ballers that may have what it takes to win the City Championship.
This “coming of age” novel reminds me that times have really changed. Sure Dale’s problems are similar to what some kids go through now, but today all kids are plugged in and don’t always know what it means to work hard for something you really want. However, it was sad to see what Dale had to endure with his life situation. As a kid, there is only so much he can do to improve his home life. I really felt for Dale and his situation, but at times other things didn’t seem realistic or likely. The relationship with his homeroom teacher, Miss Furbish….at times Dale’s words with her seemed wise beyond his years, and at other times he seemed rather immature, but perhaps that was his infatuation and not realizing that what he was envisioning in his mind was not realistic.
Overall I enjoyed this story and would give it 3 1/2 paws