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Children's Fiction Basketball

In the Paint

by (author) Jeff Rud

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2005
Basketball, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Values & Virtues
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2005
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2005
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


For as long as he can remember, Matt has wanted to play basketball. Now, as he tries out for the team at his new middle school, he realizes that the easy days of elementary ball are over and that this is a much more serious game. Dealing with a hard-driving coach, competitive teammates and his own insecurities in a new school, Matt needs to call on all his skills, both on and off the court, to make the team and keep his head above water. When he is involved, albeit unwittingly, in tagging a store with racist graffiti, Matt finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for. And when he fights back against an aggressive teammate and is threatened with suspension from the team, he learns that it is not only game-time decisions that count, but also the choices made after the crowd has gone home and the gym is silent.

About the author


  • Long-listed, ALA Popular Paperbacks
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice

Excerpt: In the Paint (by (author) Jeff Rud)

Matt was momentarily stunned, but he bounced up quickly, wiping the trickle of blood from the side of his mouth.

One look at the hard-nosed, sneering Grant Jackson standing above him told Matt no apology was forthcoming. "Just remember, rook," Grant hissed quietly. "I'm the starting point guard on this team."

Editorial Reviews

"Author Rud's effective use of language, his understanding of young people and his appreciation of sport make this a good book for young readers, especially boys. Excellent"

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Librarian Reviews

In the Paint (South Side Sports)

Matt struggles to make the basketball team while keeping out of trouble. Rud explores alcohol, fighting, racism, loyalty and bullying in a way that even reluctant readers will enjoy.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

Other titles by Jeff Rud