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Training Camp

Training Camp

Rain, Twig, Cash, Peño, Lab

Book - 2019
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A struggling team of kids from a poor neighborhood is transformed by the appearance of a mysterious coach
Publisher: Costa Mesa, California : Granity Studios, 2019
Copyright Date: 2019
ISBN: 9781949520019
Characteristics: 567 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Bryant, Kobe 1978-2020,- Creator


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Apr 16, 2021

Have you got a tween who loves basketball and maybe's read a few fantasy stories, but most of them don't hold their attention for too long because...well, the stories don't involve an orange ball? Well, then, this read's for them!

I wish I had found this series when my son, who's now 16 and waaay taller than me, was little. He was bitten by the basketball bug in the third grade and this would have been a perfect read!

First of all, you can tell a lot of care went into crafting these stories. It begins with the cover. A layer of luxurious red velvet is laid over the cover and a gold embossed basketball glints in the light.

The books, five in all, are told from the points of view of different players on the West Bottom Badgers team: Rain (the shooter), Twig (the tall man), Cash (the big man), and two brothers, Peño (point guard) and Lab.

The Baders are the worst team in the youth league, set in a fantasy world, a dystopia called Dren. The boys are all on the team for different reasons, but their record's so bad because they each play an "individual" game -- whether consciously or unconsciously. Some do it because they think it's expected (Rain), others because they're afraid of being hurt by teammates (Twig), others because they're actually afraid of hurting someone (Cash), and so on. Problem is, they can't see what they're doing, or why it makes the team so terrible.

Then Professor Rolabi Wizenard walks into the Fairwood Community Center's gym, and they're in for the training camp of their lives. Whether it's shooting from a crumbling plateau, defending against a tiger, storming (or defending) a castle in knight's armor, or getting trapped in the gym as the walls close in on them (Star Wars garbage chute scene nod), their ability to come together as a team will determine if they survive, much less make it onto the team and get to play basketball games and achieve their dreams.

There are so many great morsels in these books and I love that they focus not on the games, but on training camp and each boy's internal struggle, and how that manifests on the court.

An awesome fantasy basketball read!

LoganLib_Cheryl Apr 21, 2020

I initially picked up this book because of the gorgeous cover and binding, but I wasn’t disappointed. The story lived up to its packaging. Where fantasy meets basketball - the story is told from the perspectives of 5 players from the West Bottom Badgers, the lowest-ranked team in the league and from the poorest neighbourhood in Dren. Their new coach, Professor Rolabi Wizenard, takes the team on a gruelling 10 day training camp that challenges them mentally and physically.
From the mind of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, this is a book for pre-teens, teens, educators, coaches and parents. Essentially a coming of age story, readers will be inspired by the story’s messages about teamwork, mental stamina, and the importance of knowing yourself. Kobe Bryant’s hopes of sharing his wisdom and inspirations comes to life in this story and I look forward to the next book in the series hitting our shelves soon.


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Feb 15, 2021

green_eagle_939 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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