Everyone assumes that Gus, whose family is from the Dominican Republic, is a baseball guy. But this year Gus is even more excited about basketball than any other sport he’s ever played. He’s been practicing some new moves and lately he’s more surprised when he misses his shot than when he scores. Plus now that he’s convinced his friend Teddy to try out for the team and Jack’s shoulder is healed, it looks like Walton’s home team will be unstoppable.
But this isn’t going to be the season Gus expected, because their team is getting a new player—and she just happens to be one of his best friends. Gus knows Cassie is more than good enough to compete on the boys’ team, and besides they really do need a point guard, so why isn’t he able to shake the feeling that she belongs on their bleachers rather than their bench? And to make matters worse, with their center Steve Kerrigan constantly making comments about his Dominican heritage, and Steve’s dad voicing his views on immigration as he runs for office, Gus is starting to wonder if he really belongs in Walton after all.
Can Gus find a way to bring the home team together both on and off the court, or will all these prejudices block their shot at a winning season?
- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers |
- 272 pages |
- ISBN 9781481410038 |
- April 2017 |
- Grades 3 - 7
Hear an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide
A Home Team Novel: Point Guard
By Mike Lupica
About the Book
Should a girl, even a great athlete, play on a boys’ basketball team? Much as eighth grader Gus values his friendship with Cassie, he hates having her on the team. He’s not even sure why. Is he just intolerant? The team’s center, Steve, sure is. Along with his mayor father, Steve despises immigrants and their families, and taunts Gus for being Hispanic. But maybe basketball will help Gus—and even Steve—change for the better. With lots of basketball action, this fast-moving novel combines sports excitement and timely themes about what makes a town—and a country—great.
1. Gus is the focus of this Home Team novel. Discuss his character, including his strengths and weaknesses as a person. What is his family like? Describe his relationship with Angela.
2. Gus says early on, “I like basketball even more than I like baseball.” Why do you think Gus prefers basketball? What position does he play on the team? Discuss how he practices for a game. How does his performance change as the season progresses?
3. At the opening game, Gus thinks to himself that Cassie should be in the stands “where he honestly felt she belonged.” Why does he feel that way? How do his feelings interfere with his friendship with Cassie an see more