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Dragon Hoops Hardcover – Illustrated, March 17, 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 524 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—A year after publishing his well-received Boxers and Saints, graphic novelist and math teacher Yang was beset by writer's block. But his curiosity was piqued by the Dragons, his school's men's varsity basketball team. Over the years, they had come close to winning a state championship, and 2015, the rumor mill whispered, was their year. Though a self-proclaimed nerd, Yang overcame his aversion to sports and decided to follow alumnus Coach Lou and a diverse squad of young men on their quest for the ultimate accolade. As the author juggled raising a family, teaching, and writing, the Dragons struggled to take home the championship—an effort generations in the making. The frenetic action of basketball provides ideal fodder for graphic storytelling, and Yang's visual trademarks—blade-sharp linework and squeaky-clean paneling—are in full force. His discourse on transforming human beings into cartoons that aren't caricatures is especially delightful. The narrative combines the blood-sweat-and-tears drama of a sports story with elements of gonzo journalism, narrative nonfiction, and action comics, juxtaposing play-by-play accounts of games with explorations of players' lives and the broader history of the sport. As Yang taps into subjects as varied as assimilation and discrimination in America, internecine violence in India, and China's century-long quest for athletic recognition, readers learn how this low-cost, indoor game leveled racial, gender, and international boundaries to attain global prominence. VERDICT Another standout showing from Yang, this title will have even sports haters on their feet cheering.—Steven Thompson, Bound Brook Memorial Public Library, NJ

Review

A 2020 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

Listed as a New York Times, Washington Post, Amazon, Forbes, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly 2020 book of the year.

"
Full of insight about race and ethnicity, this graphic novel intercuts the thrilling wins and crushing defeats of one high school team with basketball’s own turbulent history." ―New York Times, from "The 25 Best Children’s Books of 2020"

"Self-confessed nerd Yang would be the first to say it was unlikely that he’d do a graphic novel about sports, but his latest YA opus might be the best comic ever done on the subject, as he follows the fortunes of his high school basketball team in their quest for a state championship." ―Forbes, from "The Best Graphic Novels Of 2020"

"Dragon Hoops winningly chronicles the postseason hopes of the basketball team at the Oakland high school where [Gene Luen Yang] taught for 17 years."Washington Post

"Yang’s cartooning skills have never been sharper... Dragon Hoops has a long life ahead of it in libraries and classrooms, bridging comics and sports in a story that offers plenty of opportunities for meaningful discussion."―AV Club

"
At more than 400 full-color pages, Dragon Hoops is an impressive feat of illustrated journalism. Above all else, Yang considers himself a storyteller, and Dragon Hoops affords him the opportunity to devise a narrative that is both personal in its approach and universal in its presentation."―Oakland Magazine

"While [Dragon Hoops] traverses and weaves together different story lines throughout the season―Yang’s own life; the lives of players on the team; the various contexts and trajectories of basketball’s development as a sport ― the call to courage spills into every narrative."―San Francisco Chronicle

"Using a candid narrative and signature illustrations that effectively and dynamically bring the fast-paced games to life, Yang has crafted a triumphant, telescopic graphic memoir that explores the effects of legacy and the power of taking a single first step, no matter the outcome." ―Publisher's Weekly, starred review and a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2020

"Another standout showing from Yang, this title will have even sports haters on their feet cheering." ―School Library Journal, starred review and a School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2020

"
[Dragon Hoops] is a perfect entryway into this form [single-season reportage] for teen readers."―Horn Book, starred review

"
Yang is an extraordinary cartoonist...through recurring visual motifs that connect a champion basketball player to a self-questioning artist to a Russian immigrant with a new idea, he illuminates the risks that every one of us must take and has, once again, produced a work of resounding humanity." ―Booklist, starred review

"
On-court action is impeccably paced in swift cuts...expect a warm reception from both the sports fiction crowd and open-minded nerds willing to explore what all the seasonal fuss is all about. " The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"The full-color illustrations are varied in layout, effectively conveying intense emotion and heart-stopping action on the court...A winner." ―Kirkus


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ First Second; Illustrated edition (March 17, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1626720797
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1626720794
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 18 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL550L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 10 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.39 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.43 x 1.54 x 8.74 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 524 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
524 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 4, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars You can't put it down
By Gregory C. Poe on January 4, 2021
This is a 1-in-100 masterclass of a graphic novel. It's about a high school basketball team, but you don't need to be into basketball to love it. You'll learn about the history of basketball (I didn't know that the WNBA used a smaller ball than the NBA), you'll learn about high school sports, and you'll fall in love with every character. Every part of this novel is a 10/10 for me. The art, the story, the creativity, etc. It's approachable and interesting for people who never read graphic novels. And it pushes the envelope for people who've read hundreds of graphic novels. I haven't read anything as good as this in a few years. It'll win buckets of Eisners awards, I'm sure.

In my review, I've included an image from one of the chapters when Yang discusses why a Sikh student chose to go to a Catholic high school. Most of the novel reads much more like a story, but it's the only screenshot I took while reading.
Images in this review
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Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

mdtt
5.0 out of 5 stars Wowwww
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2020
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RichW
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply fantastic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2021
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Jonnybid
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 20, 2020
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Cliente de Amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars Gene lo hizo de nuevo
Reviewed in Mexico on June 11, 2020
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Amartya Acharya
5.0 out of 5 stars Sports Manga but for the western audiences and it works.
Reviewed in India on March 25, 2021
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