Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 13
- Grade: 4 to 8
- Reading age: 7 to 10
Orlando O'Malley has had to overcome a lot to play basketball. He's the worst shooter on the Evergreen Eagles middle school team. He can barely dribble around a cone in practice. And he's certainly the shortest. But Orlando has two special talents: a winning personality and the ability to call play-by-play almost everything that is happening around him.
Orlando really wants to be a star player, but despite his best efforts he can't quite seem to make the right play at the right time. His biggest contributions to the team are his ability to get them energized and to call the shots. But accepting these as his special talents means he has to give up his dream of playing basketball.
About the author
Eric Howling is an advertising creative director and the author of the Lorimer sports novels Head Hunter, Red Zone Rivals, Hoop Magic, Kayak Combat and Drive. As a boy growing up in Montreal, Quebec, he always had a ball or stick or club in his hands. Now Eric's writing stories about playing some of those exciting sports. His books have been shortlisted for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, named Resource Links Year's Best and picked as CCBC Best Books selections. Eric lives in Calgary, Alberta. Follow him on Twitter @erichowling.
- Commended, One of the Year's Best for 2013 - Resource Links
- Winner, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens
"If your readers are basketball fans or sports fans of realistic fiction, they will enjoy this story of Orlando. With side issues of sibling rivalry, how to make and be a friend, and a focus on self-acceptance, this story moves along quickly." Rated E: excellent, enduring, everyone should read it!
"Hoop Magic is an exciting story about basketball and adversity. Orlando is very short and thinks that is the reason he isn't a good basketball player. He is also looking for acceptance from his family, friends and his team... This book would be an excellent class novel for individual reading or as a read-aloud choice." Highly Recommended.
CM: Canadian Review of Materials