Bounce Back – book review

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Bounce Back
by Misako Rocks!
Graphic Novel
Realistic Fiction
Sports (Basketball)
Tween/Middle School
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)

Liliko’s family moves to Brooklyn New York just before she’s about to play in the championship basketball tournament with her team. She has to leave all of her friends behind and can’t lead her team to victory. But she’s hoping to join the basketball team at her new middle school (and make new friends, and learn English). For some reason, the girls on the team – especially the team captain Emma – don’t seem to like her and don’t want to give her a chance. With some help and advice from her cat, Nicco (he’s her guardian spirit!), and some new friends – Nala, Henry, and Noah, Liliko finally makes the team. And…they’re terrible. They don’t have a real coach and no one seems very good at the game. Liliko has to use her skills while being very diplomatic about it to bring her teammates along. Soon they are winning ALL of their games and Liliko is delighted. Practice, winning, and her new teammates are everything and she starts losing sight of some other important relationships. It might be too late to mend them by the time she realizes what’s happening. This is an upbeat, encouraging, realistic graphic novel (with a tiny bit of magical realism) that navigates the rough waters of teenage friendships and cliques and demonstrates effective strategies for honest communication and problem-solving. Plus, exciting basketball drama! Loved it!

Reviewed by YA Librarian