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Children's Fiction Basketball

Free Throw

by (author) Jacqueline Guest

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 1999
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1999
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1999
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 13
  • Grade: 4 to 8
  • Reading age: 7 to 10


Matthew Eagletail is the star player for the Warriors, his basketball team on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation near Calgary.
When his mother remarries, everything in Matthew's life is suddenly different and new: a new school, a new father, five pesky new sisters, a new dog named Precious. Worst of all, he has to quit the Warriors. When he's asked to join his new school's team, the Bandits, he claims he'll never play for the competition. His sister Jazz thinks otherwise, and sets out to prove it.
Free Throw is the story of how one young man come to terms with change and returns to the court--with a little help from his friends.


About the author

Award-winning author JACQUELINE GUEST is the author of numerous Lorimer novels, including the Arthur Ellis Award nominee Wild Ride and A Goal in Sight, which was shortlisted for a Golden Eagle Children's Choice Book Award. Many of her novels have also been Canadian Children's Centre Our Choice selections including the SideStreets novel At Risk, and the Sports Stories novels Hat Trick, Free Throw, and Soccer Star. Jacqueline Guest lives in Bragg Creek, Alberta.

Jacqueline Guest's profile page


  • Short-listed, Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature
  • Winner, American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Middle School Book
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Selection

Editorial Reviews

"The characters are well-drawn and I, for one, would like to meet them again..."

The Guardian

Librarian Reviews

Free Throw

In this Lorimer Sport Stories series book, an Aboriginal boy Matt moves to a new home and school when his widowed mother marries a white man with five daughters. Matt misses his old friends, his Grandparents and playing basketball for the Warriors who were on track to win the league championship. Matt doesn’t feel he can play for his new school’s team because the Bandits are long-time rivals of the Warriors. Life is miserable until Matt meets a like-minded friend online, who, along with one of Matt’s new sisters, encourages him to continue to play basketball. Matt ultimately decides that playing the game he loves is more important than which team he plays for.

Originally published in 1999, some references are dated.

Caution: There is no adult supervision of the online interaction in which the friends meet.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2012-2013.

Other titles by Jacqueline Guest