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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  133 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother i
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is going to be hard to put the magic of this book into words. What at first seems to be a simple tale about a boy who plays basketball is actually a richly detailed and poignant story of family, belonging, racial injustice, finding home, and settling into the person you were meant to be. Hooper, with a style all of its own, captures these timely themes in an original and approachable way.

“Basketball will be your passport.” Adam doesn’t exactly understand what that means. After all, he already
Vicky Who Reads
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
psst! want more fun stuff on Hooper? check out my stop on the blog tour for a giveaway and more!

4 stars

I'm not a basketball fan, or a sports fan in general. But I did really enjoy Hooper. A lot more than I expected to.

At first it came off as a kid playing basketball to be successful--but this grew so much more into that.

It's honestly quite understated, kind of like Nina LaCour's We Are Okay in the way that there are a lot of things being said without actually saying anything. For one, Adam is an
Katie Fitzgerald
Adam Reed, formerly Adam Sobieski, spent his childhood in Poland in less-than-ideal circumstances. Now that he has been adopted by Renata, his American mother, he lives in Minnesota and attends the local high school, where he is an up-and-coming basketball star and best friend to outsider Barry, who has a number of family issues himself. Though Adam knows that basketball is his passport to all the good things life has to offer, and has in fact been invited to join a prestigious travel team calle ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Adam Reed (born Sobieski) is fairly happy with his adoptive mom Renata, living in Minnesota. He hangs out with his quirky friend Barry, who has a hard life of his own, living with his mom Tiffany in a local trailer park. Adam has some anger management issues, and does not talk a lot, because he didn't get adopted until he was 11, and he doesn't feel that his English is that good. He frequently runs afoul of Kase Kinshaw, a jerk who calls him "Duh" and gives him a hard ti
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Minnesota author, Geoff Herbach, scores big with his 2018 publication, "Hooper." This is my favorite book of Herbach's so far.

Timely issues such as bullying, immigration, adoption, racism, friendship, domestic abuse, etc. are covered here with aplomb! As a result, "Hooper" is much more than a sports or basketball novel! The characters are realistic, flawed, and multi-dimensional - even the antagonists! The reader can easily empathize and believe these individuals. My true test of a good book is
In Geoff Herbach’s HOOPER, readers meet Adam, a teenage boy with a talent for basketball and a passion for much more.

Adam is a young boy adopted from an orphanage in Poland by an American woman. He lives in Minnesota, playing basketball for the local high school team --- and he’s good. Really good. Good enough to be playing on teams he’s never even dreamt of playing with. Basketball is his passport to a greater life but how much is he willing to sacrifice for the sport?

HOOPER deals very heavily
OK, I RARELY read sports books. And when I do, I NEVER give them 5 star reviews. Usually because in order for it to be a true sports book, and not just a realistic fiction book with a team in it, the plays have to be pretty heavy handed, the dialogue and the storyline suffer (in my opinion), and the characters are flat outside of their athletic ability.

This was not that type of sports book.

Yes, there were plays. Yes the main character was good at sports. Yes, there were plenty of team dynamics.
Ben Lamorte
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stumbled onto it. My son read it in 2 days and literally asked “why is this book so damn good?” at 11pm and didn’t want to sleep... hasn’t happened since Harry Potter series. We were looking for a basketball book that is also decent literature, and Hooper is that book.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story! Fans of Carl Deuker will love this book.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Adam is Polish, adopted and brought to America just four years ago. He doesn't feel he fits in until he discovers basketball. And, even then, something keeps him on the outskirts. Until The Fury.
Haley Laverne
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book for sports fans and non sports fans. This book is about a young Poland born boy named Adam Reed or previously known before coming to america Adam Sobenski. Adam was adopted by an american woman named Renata who lives in Philadelphia where Adam starts to play basketball. After a while they move to a small rural town in Minnesota where Adam starts to draw attention to his basketball skills and his ability to slam dunk. Along with Adam a young female player who plays baske ...more
Casia Courtier
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hooper by Geoff Herbach is a sports contemporary YA book. It is a first-person narrative about Adam Sobieski Reed, a young boy originally from Poland, but adopted by an American woman. At the beginning of the book, Adam has already lived in America for a while. He has learned English and is doing well in school. He is also a basketball player.
 I haven't read many sports fiction books. In fact, I think the last time I've read one was in middle school with the soccer fiction book, Tangerine. How
Nina O'Daniels
Sports, love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are good for some kids. It’s their salvation, their “passport” to a better life. For Adam Reed, it’s both. Adam lives with his adoptive mother, Renata, after she found him cold, hungry, and very alone in a park in Poland. Being in the US has been a transition, to say the least, and his grasp of the language, culture, and slang is a work in progress. The best thing to happen to him, besides being adopted, is that he has found basketball. He’s only been playing t ...more
Carrie Ardoin

From the moment I started this book, I knew that I was going to like the main character. Adam Reed (aka Sobieski) is a sophomore in high school and is a basketball phenom. His height may have been God given, but for every other part of the game, he has worked relentlessly to better himself. Adam has a passion for the sport that you can really feel coming off the pages of this novel.

Adam might be great at basketball, but the other parts of his life, he's more uncertain about. He only has
John Clark
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Who says White men can't jump? If you've met Adam Sobieski Reed, you know that's not true. What is true about Adam is that he grew up in Poland. After his mom died, his father, overwhelmed with grief and the responsibility of taking care of his son, crawled into the bottle. Not long after, Adam was dumped at a Catholic orphanage. He was rescued by Renata, an American who was doing research on her Ph.D. She adopted him and after living in Philadelphia for a while, moved them to Minnesota where sh ...more
Matthew Landis
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, I'm a huge Geoff Herbach fan (STUIPD FAST series, FAT BOY VS. THE CHEERLEADERS). I believe him to be one of the funniest YA writers I've come across--or perhaps it's just that his sense of humor so closely aligns with what I generally think is hilarious. Point being, I'm declaring my bias, so take this review with whatever grain of salt you think required. 

HOOPER is beautiful. It's funny, with many laugh out loud moments, and authentically portrays racism, the immigrant experience, a
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The great thing about this book is how Geoff Herbach shows readers that athletics can give a kid hope. Hope for a future he or she has never considered, or hope for a future he or she didn't think possible.

Herbach's hero, Adam, is a Polish kid who essentially was orphaned. When he comes to the United States, it is with all of that hope that so many refugees and immigrants come with: the hope that he can make his dreams come true. If you think that Herbach is sending a message with this, I suspec
Lottie Jensen
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Hooper by Geoff Herbach, was definitely not one of my favorites books, I was surprised to see so many good reviews on good reads. The story follows Adam Reed, an adopted high school student originally from Poland. Being from a difficult home he has attachment issues and finds basketball as a haven from everything, it's a place where he doesn't have to be smart to make it. And he is really good. When he joins a college focused AAU team, things start becoming more difficult though. When he gets in ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm so glad to have given this book a chance. Stupid Fast is an incredible read, but it actually speaks more to my students struggling with mental illness and family issues than it does my sports enthusiasts. Not a problem; I just market Stupid Fast to students I know will like it.

This time, I was looking specifically for a basketball book, so I wasn't sure this book was it.
It turns out this title has a better balance between basketball and life. I really enjoyed it.

I give it four stars because
Liz Haggerty
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m always looking for sports books to add to my collection and I’m really glad I came across this one.

This is a great story that interweaves basketball, friendships, and a hint of social justice. Adam Reed was adopted from Poland as a child and brought to America. His adoptive Mom encourages him to participate in Sports and he discovers that he is really good at basketball. He struggles to fit in and to keep his temper under control. When basketball creates an amazing opportunity, Adam has to
Carrie G
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a sports fan. I'm not a basketball fan. But I am DEFINITELY a fan of "Hooper"!!! This book, while it was about basketball, was really about what being a friend mean, what being family means, and finding a way to live your life that you can actually live with. No, I didn't get 90% of the basketball terminology and the scenes from the practices and games didn't particularly interest me. But there was SO MUCH MORE to this book! The characters were so real and multifaceted! You cared about t ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adam Reed hasn't had an easy life. He was born in Poland and endured a tragic childhood that left him in the Midwestern United States with his foster mom, Renata. Basketball is his life. His English is flawed and he doesn't understand much of what is happening around him. His best friend is Barry, who is more than a little unusual. This is his story of finding out who he is, who his friends and family are, and learning to navigate in a complex world.

Great story of self discovery. Has a side of
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this through Edelweiss.

Adam was adopted from Poland, where he was abused and abandoned by his birth parents. Fearing that his adoptive mom will do the same thing, Adam feels that his talent as a basketball player is the only way he will be enough to keep his new life. Adam is forced to face bullying at school, while also managing his identity within this new environment. As Adam continues to rise in the basketball ranks, he receives more and more discrimination, but must also come to
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
Adam Reed (16) has a ticket to a better life for himself, and it is basketball. In the short couple of years since arriving from Poland, Adam continues to improve his game on a daily basis because of his drive to get better. Because of this, Adam gets selected to play on one of the top Minnesota 17U AAU basketball teams. After a few glitches at the beginning, Adam begins to fit in and the team begins to mesh well together. An arrest of one of Adam's teammates turns the team upside down. Will the ...more
Maria Burnham
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
You know, I was a bit disappointed in this book, mainly because of the tone of the narrator. I understand that the main character is an immigrant from Poland, so the tone is going to be simple. However, the storyline fell a little flat for me. Part romance, part pursuing-your-passion, Adam seemed like a lost character, and I didn't feel much for him as I read this book. Although I'm glad to support a local author (and I LOVED that Saint Cloud is mentioned in the book!), I'm only giving this one ...more
Mary Lou
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I though the writing was clunky. It underestimated the YA reader. I suppose that part of the author's excuse is that the narrator's first language is Polish. The story was like a TV after school special. The characters were one dimensional. A good book for a young person who is a non-reader. Not good YA literature that makes you wish the person wrote adult literature and not a springboard to adult reading. I felt the author underestimates the YA reader.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought I was going to like this book more. With short chapters I thought the book was going to move along at a fast clip, but there seemed to be too much attached to the book.

The main character who is a sophomore had a lot going on: girls, bullies, friend issues, being poor, being adopted, mother issues, race issues, not being good enough, it kept going on and on not so much on the basketball side either.
Kimberly Larsen
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Adam is an orphaned Polish boy, now living in the Minnesota with his adopted mother Renata. He is a basketball star but the trauma he has experienced plus his lack of confidence with the English language have led him to be somewhat of an outsider at his high school. With the help of Carlie (a female basketball star) he learns to be a better person and a great player. Great for sports fans as well as those who like realistic fiction with life lessons.
Jenni Heins
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Local author - teaches at MSU-Mankato. I was reading to see if it was appropriate for my 14-year old son. I think I'll have him wait due to the high volume of profanity usage. The writing style spoken in the first person narrative by the 16-year old Polish protagonist didn't catch me at first. But I found myself getting into the story as it developed.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved almost everything about this book. The main character is written so well. You can guess a bit at the plot, but it's just so satisfying how it all spools out. I don't know that much about basketball, but that didn't matter.
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I am the author of the YA title, Stupid Fast (June 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire). I also wrote The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, a Novel from Three Rivers Press. When I'm not writing books, I'm writing for Radio Happy Hour or developing ridiculous musical bits.

When I'm not writing, I'm teaching writing at Minnesota State, Mankato, which means I write a lot of comments about writing on student writi
More about Geoff Herbach

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