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Children's Fiction Self-esteem & Self-reliance

Bad Shot

by (author) Sylvia Taekema

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Basketball, Depression & Mental Illness, Bullying
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 4
  • Reading age: 8 to 9


12-year-old Cody loves basketball. When a new well-off kid Nick arrives at school and starts giving Cody pointers, Cody lands a spot on the team. Despite Nick's help, Cody still feels anxious all the time. Cody's performance gets worse until his one big shot at a basket goes into his own team's net! Cody soon realizes that Nick's help isn't what he needs to succeed. To play better, he knows he has to become more self-reliant and work on his basketball skills on his own terms.

Set against the realistic backdrop of a struggling small town, Bad Shot touches on the emotional realities of performance anxiety, socioeconomic status, and bullying.

About the author

Way back when she was in grade school, Sylvia Taekema was asked to write about what she would like to do when she grew up. She wrote that she didn't know exactly, but that it would probably have something to do with children. She was right. In addition to all the fun she and her husband have with their own children, Sylvia enjoys working as a supply teacher and as a volunteer in programs for children at school, church and in the community. She loves to read, bake cookies and go on camping adventures with her family. She lives in Chatham, Ontario.

Sylvia Taekema's profile page


  • Winner, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

"Bad Shot is a good read for all young readers, in particular athletes similar to main characters Cody and Nick. It serves as a reminder to focus on getting one's head back in the game rather than getting caught up in the drama between players."

CM: Magazine

"This novel is an easy read for basketball fans, and incorporates good messaging about being a supportive friend, having good family relationships, and the power that comes with confidence."

Resource Links

Other titles by Sylvia Taekema