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Dragon Hoops

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  38 reviews
In his latest graphic novel, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.

Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he
Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by First Second
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  • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
    Dragon Hoops
    Release date: Mar 17, 2020
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    In his latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, New York Times bestselling author Gene

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 07 - Feb 21, 2020

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    Average rating 4.59  · 
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     ·  88 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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    Paul  Hankins
    "In a well-crafted story, everything makes sense." Gene Luen Yang, author/illustrator (and narrator/guide) in DRAGON HOOPS.

    And graphic novels help us to make sense of these stories in ways that are both inviting and inclusive. A recurring word resonates through DRAGON HOOPS: "Step."

    Get ready to step into a new graphic novel by an author/illustrator that brought classroom teacher's attention around the potential for graphic novels with AMERICAN BORN CHINESE.

    As a Hero's Journey story, DRAGON HOOPS
    Abby Johnson
    What a fantastic book!

    Gene Yang never thought he'd write a basketball book. But when that's what all the kids at the high school where he teaches were talking about their basketball team, Yang investigated to see if there was a story there.

    A super basketball team that had never won a state championship, despite playing in the championship game many years. Could this be their year? Yang intersperses the team's story with his own personal story of taking steps forward into the unknown. As he
    Ms. Yingling
    Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    E ARC provided by Netgalley

    This is best described as a graphic novel memoir of Mr. Yang's writing life combined with a history of the Bishop O'Dowd school basketball team. Unsure of what to write about next, Yang draws inspiration from the school where he teachers. While he didn't participate in basketball himself, he is drawn to the team, which does very well but has struggled to bring home a championship. The coach, Lou Richie, was a student at the school, so has deep ties to the community and
    Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Utterly stupendous. At Reading Rants:
    Robbi Caldwell
    Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    *I received a free e-arc of this title provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

    Listen. I enjoy watching basketball but would I pick up a book about basketball?.... Not usually.

    But! This book is
    1. A graphic novel and I graphic novels!
    2. It’s by Gene Luen Yang!

    Yang, a nerd after my own heart, who had never imagined writing a book about basketball won me over quickly with a good balance of basketball and personal stories of the players, the coach, and their
    Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

    Being someone who knows practically nothing about basketball, I'm surprised with how much I love Dragon Hoops. After finishing, I have already recommended it to two people because it appeals to sports lovers, stories about passion, and underdogs. Dragon Hoops is an all around win. It's a story about basketball, but not just about the game, but also the players. It's about their
    Raven Black
    Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Mixes present, history and the kids. Showing how growth happens, the good and bad, showing people and life. How the lessons are Yang's personal life and players. Shows what both males and females have to deal with. The story is a documentary, non-fiction. Format is fun, unique, awkward , smooth. Yang's style and fits story-line. You don't have to like basketball to enjoy.
    Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I didn't think I would enjoy a book about basketball this much. I learned a lot about the sport and appreciate Gene Luen Yang doing something he has never done before. I'm looking forward to recommending this to kids 8th grade and up when it is formally released in 2020.

    eARC provided by NetGalley.
    Jen Petro-Roy
    Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    So, so good. Exceptional.
    Dec 27, 2019 added it
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! I will post a review upon publication (but cannot resist adding, in the meantime, that I this). ...more
    Llyr Heller-Humphreys
    Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I was able to read an ARC. Such a great graphic novel!
    Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Gene Luen Yang is back, and Dragon Hoops is a memoir of a year following the basketball team during the 2014-15 season at the high school where he taught, Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California. Gene wants to write a new graphic novel - at the same time he's being courted by DC Comics to write a new Superman story - and he's wracking his brain, coming up with options. He isn't really a sports guy, but he decides to explore the Bishop O'Dowd varsity basketball team, after hearing all ...more
    Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
    "You have to know your past if you want to create a future."

    I'm not much of a sports fan, but I decided to pick this book up because I love Gene Luen Yang's works. Imagine my surprise when it's over a week later and I still keep thinking about this story.

    Yang begins the book by sharing that he doesn't enjoy sports, and yet he finds himself intrigued by the buzz he hears around the high school where he teaches about the basketball team. He introduces himself to the coach and soon decides to
    Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I loved this book/story! Yang uses a new recipe to make this book - it's part history of basketball, part history of Bishop O'Dowd High School's journey to become CA State Champion winners (the school where Yang had taught for 17 years), and part meta exploration of the author's experience of putting this all of this together. It's a clever set up, and it really worked for me. I loved getting to know Gene Luen Yang better. I've been reading his work for years, and seeing this side of him was ...more
    Emily Waisanen
    Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I was fortunate to win this book from a Twitter Giveaway (complete with a mini basketball hoop, ball, and poster!) This book is incredible and is sure to be a hit in any middle school classroom. While of course, this is a book about basketball, it's really about so much more than basketball; it's about examining the history of basketball through the lens of different races and genders. It doesn't shy away from hard topics, but it deals with them in a sensitive and respectful nature. There is so ...more
    Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Dragon Hoops is a graphic novel with a lot of heart.

    I wouldn't usually go for a sports book, least of all a basketball one but then, the author didn't think he would either. I wanted to read this to see if would be suitable for reluctant readers of secondary school age, and it absolutely is, I can imagine it going down well.

    Dragon Hoops is in part a memoir, in part a history of basketball, and most importantly a celebration of differences, strength, passion, and underdogs.

    I really like that
    Pam  Page
    Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: ya, graphic-novels
    Though I know basketball somewhat, know the rules, and have watched a lot of college basketball, I do not care to read about sports. This book was a game changer for me in reading about basketball. Gene Luen Yang includes some of the history of the development of basketball, how a coaching staff works together, how important the kids on the bench are to the team, Chinese name it and you learn bits and pieces of interesting basketball information! The story often reads like you ...more
    Rheetha Lawlor
    Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: netgalley
    Provided by NetGalley
    Mr. Yang's books are never simplistic pictures. There are more layers to them, more historical references, more about human nature. This one is a bit different, but altogether just as amazing as his last ones. Not knowing what to write about, he takes on the energy from the school and his son's interest in joining a basketball team, and writes about his own school, family, and professional life, all revolved around the high school's journey to try to become state
    Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This is an exciting sports graphic novel about one team's quest for their first state title. However, it's also more than that, as Yang infuses the book with personal stories and historical context, adding a significant amount of depth. He includes factual content about discrimination throughout history based on gender, religion, and ethnic backgrounds while facing his own struggles with balancing various obligations that are pulling him in different directions. For someone who claims not to ...more
    Jess Smiley
    Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A phenomenal masterwork from one of comics’ most important creators.

    “Dragon Hoops” is the story of stepping into the unknown, taking chances, and playing to the best of one’s abilities. This might look like a “basketball book”—and there is plenty of basketball in it—but the heart of “Dragon Hoops” lies in its several rich and deeply affecting examples of individuals from unique backgrounds making differences and taking steps in their own lives and areas of interest (basketball or otherwise).

    Marta Boksenbaum
    Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
    Shelves: teen-lit, graphic
    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I will definitely be buying this book. I admit I didn't get into as much because I don't care for basketball, but my middle grade and younger teens will love this! The teens at my library love sports stories and play by plays, and they also love memoir graphic novels, so this is a win on all counts. Yang does a great job at telling the story and keeping it meaningful while also just letting it be a fun sports ...more
    Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: graphic-novels, arc
    This graphic novel has something for everyone. I mean, I don't even like basket ball and haven't played since 6th grade when it was play or the school doesn't have a team (no pressure at all), but this book was highly engaging. Nonfiction, history, sports, social issues, and the art of storytelling are carefully woven together with deft pen strokes. Yang has a unique talent.

    All library collections should have at least one copy of this book regardless of ages served.

    Thanks to Netgalley and the
    Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the chance to read this ebook ahead of publication.

    I loved this graphic novel! It was fun to read about a premier high school basketball team, but it was more than just that. It was a look into an author and his writing process, especially about whether to be truthful or leave some negative things out. I appreciate that he addressed that hesitation but ultimately decided to include a scandal that the school and team had to deal with.

    I'm excited to
    Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: graphic-novel
    This graphic novel is a mix of memoir of Yang’s career as a teacher and the championship-bound team at Bishop O’Dowd HS; he shares his lack of interest in basketball but working on a campus where the basketball team are potential state champions causes him to learn more about his school team.

    Relationships and school history are uncovered and the team’s season is documented. Sports-loving readers will enjoy this book as well as graphic novel enthusiasts.
    Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: graphic
    For basketball fans everywhere. But even if you don't follow basketball, Yang tells a rich, multi layered story that takes place at Bishop O'Dowd high school in Oakland, CA. It follows the varsity basketball team in 2014/15 as they attempt to make the CA state championship. Focusing on the individual players and coaches, as well as Yang's own personal struggles (how to balance teaching, writing graphic comic books and being a dad), it's a page turner until the very end.
    Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Wow, who knew I would enjoy a non-fiction graphic novel about California high school basketball! This book is so well-written that it sucks you in immediately. Since it is based on something that the author actually experienced and researched, I found myself looking up information about the school, the team, and what happened. The art is great; I'm a huge fan of Yang's art. This book was great and I think has mass appeal, not just for basketball fans. #Netgalley
    Bryan Loar
    Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I was not expecting to love this book. I resisted reading the ARC for months. I finally sat down and read Yang's beautiful work one sitting. Emotional depth, near perfect storytelling, and sincere honesty will easily draw in non-sports and sports fanatics alike. The graphic novel triumphantly explores the human condition and will leave a lasting impression on readers.
    Angie  Moore
    Jan 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
    I love Gene's books, and even though I am clueless about basketball, I really enjoyed this book. I think it is because of the memoir/biography style of it that made it accessible for me. I think that this book will appeal to graphic novel fans as well as sports fans, and I cannot wait to share this book with my students!
    Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Lovvvvved! Gene Yang does such a wonderful job using graphics to convey very important literary elements. On top of that, the pace of this book was perfect when conveying basketball. I felt like I was watching the game live!
    Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Brilliant! Highly entertaining on so many levels, reflecting on so many things. Yes, it is about a championship basketball season but it is also about family, commitment, the craft of writing, courage, fidelity to the truth in story, friendship, work ethic, love and more. Brilliant!


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    Gene Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received the Xeric Grant, a prestigious comics industry grant, for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work as an adult. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Duncan's Kingdom (with art by Derek Kirk Kim) and The Rosary Comic Book. American Born Chinese received National Book Award.

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