Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Power Forward” as Want to Read:
Power Forward
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Power Forward

(Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  30 reviews
From the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes the first book in an exciting new middle grade series about a fourth-grader with big dreams of basketball stardom.

Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Salaam Reads / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Power Forward, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Power Forward

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Ms. Yingling
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Zayd LOVES basketball and isn't thrilled about being on a development team instead of the "gold" team like his best friend Adam. He could be a lot better if his parents didn't make him practice violin so much. Of course, it doesn't help that he is scrawny, mainly because his mother insists on healthy food, which doesn't always sit well with his sensitive system. When he listens to some other basketball players and decides to practice his hoop skills before school in the
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
There are numerous reasons to love the first installment of Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream, Power Forward! It's a perfect series for elementary students all the way to middle schoolers. I highly recommend you pick this book up! Also book two: On Point comes out at the end of May!
Jarrett Lerner
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A promising start to an exciting new series by Hena Khan. Whether they’re basketball-lovers or not, kids will relate to Zayd’s hopes, dreams, difficulties, and frustrations, and the large cast of deftly drawn characters helps ensure future books will be just as gripping and fun.
Laura Mossa
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster for sending an ARC of Power Forward to our #bookexcursion group. It publishes on May 8, 2018.

Date/Time: May 5, 2018 11:25 a.m.

What I Read: Power Forward is the first book in a new chapter book series about fourth-grader Zayd Saleem. Zayd lives for basketball, not the violin. He is determined to move up from the D league to the gold team playing along side his best friend Adam. Zayd knows that practicing basketball is crucial to achieving his dream; therefor
Tonja Drecker
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Of all the sport fiction for middle graders I've read so far this year, this one makes the slam dunk. SIZZLE.

Zayd is a fourth-grader who dreams of becoming famous, preferrably as an NBA basketball player. But right now, he's on the D-league, which means he's going to have to move up to the gold team first. He's determined and actually has the chance to shine at the next tryouts, but his parents and their dream of him playing the violin is getting in the way. Somehow, Zayd's going to have to work
Patty Palmer
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Power Forward

I put this book into the hands of one of my fourth grade boys to read before me over a long weekend. When we returned to school, he had finished the book and offered a book talk during the share portion of Morning Meeting. I will paraphrase his review below.

I can’t really say his name, I think it’s Zayd (tries a bunch of different pronunciations before settling on the one he likes best.) He really likes basketball, but he’s kind of small (like me) and he wants to be on the best team
Dorine White
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fourth grader Zayd Saleem wants to make the gold basketball team and play with his best friend Adam. His mother and father want him to keep playing the violin in the youth orchestra. He wants to be a star, a legend, the first Pakistani-American kid in the NBA. To achieve his goal, he begins skipping early morning violin practice and starts hitting the courts to practice.

When his mom finds out, watch out! He is not only grounded from playing basketball, but from watching it on TV or even speaking
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherry Ellis
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Zayd Saleem is a fourth grade boy who loves basketball. His goal is to make the school's gold basketball team. When he gets in trouble for blowing off violin lessons, it looks like his dream isn't going to happen. Will things turn around? You'll have to read the book to find out.

Power Forward is a well-written middle grade story. The dialogue between the characters has a good flow, and the story is one that a lot of young boys can relate to. Another nice feature is that the main character is of
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Zayd Saleem is a Pakistani-American 4th grader, who has a passion for basketball. Brought up in a loving culture with firm rules, Zayd must spend extra time practicing his violin in the morning to become the great violinist his parents envision for him. However Zayd has other plans, and when he decides to follow his own passion for practicing basketball instead of playing the violin, trouble erupts. This is a story so many young boys will relate to, however his Pakistani culture with special foo ...more
Trudy Zufelt
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Original review as it appears on my blog, Boys to Books. ARC copy received from publisher.

Zayd knows he must practice hard and often to make the gold basketball team, especially since he's smaller than the other guys on the team. Unfortunately, skipping orchestra practice to sharpen his skills does nothing to advance his goals.

When his mother finds out Zayd has traded his violin for basketball, she grounds him for the two weeks leading to try outs. Not only is he not allowed to play basketball,
Margaret Boling
9/2/2018 ~~ A chapter book with an "everyday kid" who loves basketball more than violin. Zayd, a fourth grader, struggles to convince his parents that he should be allowed to spend more time & energy improving his basketball skills & less on violin. Incidentally, his family is Muslim, so some traditions, phrases, and references to clothing are sprinkled into the story.

Author Hena Khan is herself Pakistani-American and has numerous books about her culture. This is an important book to in
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Pretty straightforward basketball kid story. Main theme, being true to yourself and not lying. In the background an uncle thinking about a semi-arranged marriage and traditional Pakistani foods and games, casual mentions of Islam -- I love that this is a story that is clearly set in an immigrant family (at some point they were immigrants) but it isn't about that at all. It's about a kid who loves basketball, who missteps and has to make it up, and who has some underlying anxiety/food issues. Fas ...more
Kate Foran
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
From the first chapter, when Zayd falls off the stage during an orchestra performance and is thrilled that his fall went almost-viral on YouTube, I loved this kid. He's super-relatable in that "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" kind of way. He's also good-hearted and a bit anxious. His family is loving and distinctly Pakistani-American, with each character well-defined (sister, uncle, mom, dad, grandma and grandpa). No small feat in such a short book.

Nice flow, easy to follow plot, good for basketball love
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick reading sports novel with an appealing narrator. Zayd Saleem loves basketball, so when Zayd sees an opportunity to practice to make the Gold team, he lets his parents believe he is practicing violin and not basketball. Caught and punished, it seems his dreams of making the team are dashed. How will he solve his problem? This book is a fairly straightforward sports book that is elevated by its focus on a Pakistani-American main character. Khan seamlessly integrates family and cultural ele ...more
Julie Kirchner
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great first book in this series about a young boy who wants to follow his dream of making the basketball team while his parents dreams are more about playing the violin. Zayd will have to convince his parents that his small stature will not stop his big heart in reaching his goals. I’m looking forward to sharing with students.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aliza Werner
First in a new series from the Salaam Reads imprint. Zayd’s parents want him to play violin. He wants to play basketball. Which will it be?
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for basketball fans ages 7-11.
Mrs. Salas
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-books
My sports lovers will enjoy this book. Good thing I had my husband around to fill me in on all of the basketball lingo. 😀
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great beginning chapter book about basketball and learning how to stand up for your own passions.
Snazzy Reads
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, children-s, b-b
It's... nice. I like the idea of a scrawny Pakistani-American basketball player with psychosomatic stomach pains, but the plot feels maybe a little too smooth.
Great Books
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ages-10-11
Zayd Saleem has been practicing basketball every spare minute, hoping to make the gold team with his best friend Adam. But when he skips orchestra rehearsals, his parents ground him from basketball. Will Zayd earn back his parent’s trust and make the team?

Reviewer 29
Freya Hooper
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Today’s book is about following basketball dreams. Zayd is obsessed with hoops, but his parents prefer the violin. When kids don’t have the time for everything, how does a family decide what to pursue? It isn’t always so easy to decide.

Don’t forget to follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don’t miss a single story where kid’s expectations and parent’s expectation clash. Sounds a lot like real life!

Title: Power Forward

Author: Hena Khan

Target: Grades 2-5

Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is a good look into the life of a boy whose parents are from Pakistan who cares more about basketball than about playing the violin—his parents’ idea. Zayd lets this passion overtake sense when he chooses to miss his private violin lessons so he can practice basketball with the hope of making the coveted Gold basketball team. When he gets caught and must face the consequences, Zayd learns the value of honesty with his parents and teachers.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jun 11, 2018
Jenn Bishop
rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2018
Sam R
rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Other books in the series

Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream (3 books)
  • On Point
  • Bounce Back
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »