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Young Adult Fiction Prejudice & Racism

The Hoop and the Harm

by (author) Jawara Pedican

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Prejudice & Racism, Activism & Social Justice, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12


Udoka Clendon is a first-year university student and a product of basketball systems that have produced professional players.

From very young, he’s been pushed relentlessly by his family on a troubling pursuit for an athletic scholarship. He is burdened by expectations and self-doubt. Udoka tries to reignite his passion for the game. Now, he’s been given a final opportunity at the city-wide tournament to rediscover his confidence and his sense of purpose—all of which he fears he has lost forever.

With the clarity and poetic style of a seasoned writer, and drawing on his own time as an elite sports prospect, Jawara Pedican shows the trials and traumas of becoming fixated on a dream of sports stardom.

About the author

Jawara Pedican is a former member of both the McGill University and University of Toronto men’s varsity basketball teams. With a wealth of memories from his playing days, he decided to offer young readers a semi-autobiographical account of his experiences and trials and tribulations as a collegiate athlete. He is a kinesiologist and more recently a medical editor for a life sciences marketing agency headquartered in Toronto. He lives in Alliston, Ontario.

Jawara Pedican's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The Hoop and the Harm is a rewarding read […] a courageous undertaking, mixing intense sports scenes and authentic-feeling athletes with therapy and complicated self-reflection on the part of an adolescent who needs it, accepts it (not readily at first), and benefits from it.

CM: Review of Materials

“A potent message about the mental toll of elite sports and the value of playing for love of the game will resonate with teens. Recommended for high school libraries.”

School Library Journal

"The therapy sessions counter the negativity Udoka feels about himself and speak to the importance of believing in and being your authentic self... a wonderful job of normalizing opening up and using counseling services, especially for boys and young men who often feel that they have to bottle up their emotions.

A sincere, inspiring look at dealing with and overcoming self-doubt..."

Kirkus Reviews’s a courageous tale, not your average sports story. It shines a light on what many athletes won’t discuss or contemplate. It’s a recommended read, especially for those passionate about sport.

YA Dude Books

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