Game by P-HarpercollinsPubl


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Author: Walter Dean Myers

Drew Lawson knows basketball is taking him places. It has to, because his grades certainly aren't. But
lately his plan has run squarely into a pick. Coach's new offense has made another player a star, and
Drew won't let anyone disrespect his game. Just as his team makes the playoffs, Drew must come up
with something big to save his fading college prospects. It's all up to Drew to find out just how deep his
game really is.

"Yo, Drew, here's the story!" Jocelyn called me from the living room.She and Mom were already sitting on
the couch across from the television. Pops came out of the bathroom in his undershirt and started to say
something, but Mom held her hand up."Wait a minute, honey," she said. "They're talking about that
stickup on 126th Street."Pops looked at me. There was a commercial on the television."It's coming up
next," Jocelyn said.A moment later a woman's face filled the screen.What's happening with the youth of
America? Well, if you're talking about the young people in our inner cities, the picture is far from pretty.
Today two high school boys were involved in a vicious robbery and shoot-out in New York's Harlem
community.The image on the screen switched to a picture of the police stretching yellow tape across the
sidewalk in front of a discount store.At one thirty this afternoon, two boys, boys who should have been in
school, attempted to hold up this store on 126th Street and Lenox Avenue. As they made their way from
the store and down the busy street, they encountered an off-duty policeman, who immediately sensed
what was going on. The two youths shot at the policeman, who returned fire. The result: a badly
frightened and wounded clerk in the store, a sixteen-year-old in police custody, and a seventeen-year-old
fatally wounded. The country's educational mantra these days is "No Child Left Behind." Tragically, this is
yet another example of the growing number of children left behind on the cold streets of New York.In
Lebanon, negotiators have reached a tentative agreement . . . Jocelyn switched channels."They didn't
even give their names," Mom said."That's because they weren't eighteen yet," Pops said. "You can read
about it in the papers tomorrow.""It just tears me up to see young people wasting their lives like that,"
Mom said. "Every time you pick up the newspaper, every time you switch on the television, it's more of
our young men either killed or going to jail. Lord have mercy! There just doesn't seem to be an end to it.
Now there's a young man with all his life in front of him, and I know his parents wanted the best for him.
Lying out on the sidewalk. It just . . . oh, Lord have mercy!"Mom's voice was cracking, and I wondered
why Jocelyn even had the story on. She knew how it upset Mom. She had always worried about me and
Jocelyn, but then when my man Ruffy's brother was arrested right after Christmas, she got really messed
around. "I still think you children should finish school down south." Mom was on her feet. She had the
towel in her hand she had been using to dry the dishes. "It's just safer down there."Pops started in about
how it wasn't any safer in Savannah, which is where my grandmother lived, than it was in Harlem. I went
back to my room, and Jocelyn followed me in and plunked herself down on the end of my bed."Why don't
you go to your own room, girl?""Why don't you let me borrow your cell until I get mine fixed?""No.""Drew,
you ain't got nobody to call. Let me use your phone.""Those guys must have been on crack or
something," I said. "Pulling a stickup in the middle of the day.""So when do you pull your
stickups?""Jocelyn, shut up and get off my bed.""How long you think Mom is going to be upset?" she
asked, not budging from the bed.I took my sneakers off and threw them near her. "Yo, even when Mom's
Author Bio
Walter Dean Myers
Walter Dean Myers is a New York Times bestselling author and a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott
King Award, and he has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult
literature. His picture books include patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, I've Seen the Promised
Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly. Mr. Myers lives with
his family in Jersey City, New Jersey.

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