Lodestar Books

August 1997

$15.99 US

160p hc

ISBN: 978-0525675549

Jump Ball: a basketball season in poems

Mel Glenn

from the book...

You have to grab the ball,

Or the world,

With two hands

And jam that sucker home.

Meet the Tigers, Tower High School's basketball team. With Garrett James, the star player, who seems destined for the NBA, the Tigers are on top of the world, bringing the crowds to their feet. In this unusual collection of poems, you'll get to know Garrett James and the rest of the players, their families, their devoted coach, their friends and girlfriends, teachers, fans, and reporters. You'll come to care about Darnell Joyce, the lovable forward with no place to live; Tyrone Porter and the little brother who worships him; team manager Vonessa Leighton, who has a crush on one of the players; and many other memorable characters.

But this is more than a portrait of a basketball team or a compilation of poems: It's a gripping, carefully crafted story of a championship team's season, told with humor, pathos, and insight. Award-winning author Mel Glenn's most accomplished and strongest book to date is one that will appeal to teens who like poetry and sports - and to those who don't, as well.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


Jump Ball is a novel about a basketball team and like other Mel Glenn novels it is set in Tower High School. The book had poems from the students, families of the students, teachers and a very devoted coach. Tower High school has an excellent basketball team with their star player destined for NBA. 

I thought it was a great verse novel because it showed the reality of a high school. Throughout the novel the author has presented two points of view, one positive and one negative. I thought the novel gave a lot of insight into the basketball team. I would recommend this book to all teenagers.

Nitish, Year 10, Canberra, Australia


Join the Tigers a high school basketball team that seems destined to topple the pinnacle of basketball greatness. The best player, Garret James the man who has colleges begging him to come to their school, he’s been promised any class he wants, any housing he wants, easy financial aid, pretty much anything he wants.

You’d think he had everything set but events change that. But this story isn’t just about him it’s about the whole team; there’s E.Z. and P.J. Pratt, two brothers one’s the father of a child but doesn’t want it, the other does but has no right. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as this story goes.

This is a great read; I couldn’t get enough of it. It is easily one of the top 10 books I’ve read in the past year. The ending really took me by surprise, particularly the way the story came full circle.

Chris, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

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