Adrianna “AJ” Howard is about to enter the sixth grade, but she is not an average sixth grader. Her life at home has quickly disintegrated over the last few months, after her parents came home drunk and her father injured her mother, leading to his arrest and her brother’s subsequent drug-related automobile accident. She’s spent the summer worrying about her brother’s physical and mental health as well as her mother’s increasingly busy work schedule, and wondering where her father ended up after he left their house in handcuffs on that fateful night. She tries desperately to push her worries aside, focusing on her schoolwork and, most importantly, her basketball team. She tries to lose herself in the game, but the caring coach forces her to face her issues head-on.
As things at home become even worse, AJ finds that basketball isn’t providing the solace it once did—she seeks out other ways to dull her emotional pain, drinking to make the sadness go away. Things come to a head when the police bring her home intoxicated one night. As she distances herself from her parents and brother, her grandfather steps in and tries to point AJ in the right direction. Will AJ pull herself together and get back on the right path? Will her family ever be the same again? Can everyone put the broken pieces of their relationships back together?
Jump Ball, published by Dog Ear Publishing, is a touching coming-of-age story, and a sensitive portrayal of a girl on the edge—an average girl who could easily become a sad statistic but for the intervention of family and caring teachers and coaches. Vicki L. Drewa has drawn upon the positive experiences she had with athletics as a youth, and upon those she has had coaching children herself. Drewa lives and teaches elementary school in Chicago, IL.
For more information, visit www.vickildrewa.com
Vicki L. Drewa
ISBN: 978-160844-760-2 107 pages $9.95 US
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