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Dragon Hoops

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  101 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 storiescomic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesnt get sports. As a kid, his friends called him Stick and every basketball game he played
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by First Second
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Average rating 4.59  · 
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 ·  257 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Gene Luen Yang does something so different with this graphic novel and it works. It absolutely, amazingly works.

At first I thought this would be a memoir, but its not quite that. Then I thought it would shift its focus on one particular person (not the author) and follow them until the end, but its not that either.

Its so much more. Its not just the author being featured, its his whole family. And its not just one basketball player at the high school where he teaches being discussed, its a group
Robbi Caldwell
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, autographed
*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. Its 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
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
Nat ⭐
TW: racism (challenged), mentions sexual assault (specifically in religious organizations), religious prejudice (challenged), sexism (challenged)

My mom has always been an avid fan of basketballand who can blame her, considering that shes 1) from Chicago and 2) was a Bulls fan living in the city back when Michael Jordan was the reigning king? I mention this because, even though she loves the sport and Ive grown up watching games, Ive never been much of a sports fan myselfmuch like Gene, the
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this novel from First Second in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This book really surprised me. Going in I didn't see the need for a 400+ graphic novel about the author learning about basketball. The synopsis really threw me off. However, this book was very insightful and redeemed itself from American Born Chinese, Yang's backlisted title that I didn't enjoy so much.

I'm a big hockey fan and I've never sought out any other sport because basketball,
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:
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I was sent an ARC of Dragon Hoops from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I know absolutely nothing about basketball or any sport, really. Like Gene, I have no interest in sports. That didnt stop him from learning more about basketball and following the schools basketball team throughout their basketball season. Gene works at the school as well as writes and illustrates graphic novels. Dragon Hoops is essentially about his career and about the school (and schools basketball team)
I'm not the biggest sports fan, and while I've seen and enjoyed a few basketball games, I never knew the ins and outs. I actually learned a lot from reading this graphic novel, it was really interesting. I think there's something to be said for having someone take you along on his own learning journey, because that makes this graphic novel very accessible.

I especially appreciated how much this book delves into things like racism and sexism in sports. I also loved how meta it was, because that
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
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This graphic novel is a mix of memoir of Yangs career as a teacher and the championship-bound team at Bishop ODowd 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 teams season is documented. Sports-loving readers will enjoy this book as well as graphic novel enthusiasts.
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.
Zack Quaintance
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is the best graphic novel Ive read in 2020. I highly recommend it to anyone, even if (especially if) they have no interest in sports. Its immersive, honest, and in the end hopeful as all get out. I loved it. ...more
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was able to read an ARC. Such a great graphic novel!
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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).

UPDATED 3/22/20:

Five enthusiastic stars!

I had such mixed feelings going into this graphic novel. On one hand, I LOVE _American Born Chinese_. On the other, I am utterly disinterested in all things relating to sports. In other words, I had no idea if I would love this, hate this, or land somewhere in the confused middle.

But...I LOVED it! There are
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.
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
Becky B
Gene Luen Yang shares the saga of the 2014-2015 varsity basketball season for the Bishop ODowd High School in Oakland, California. The team had made it to the State championships multiple times in the past, but had never ever won a championship. Everyone at the school was saying this was their year. Yang was looking for an idea for his next graphic novel at the time and was a teacher at the school. Even though he never had an interest in basketball himself, he decided to chase the story and see ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gene Yang teaches math at a Catholic high school with an excellent basketball team. When he learns the school is about to go to the State Championships--which they've been to many times and never won--yet again, he decides to follow the team and for a year and make it the story of his next book. The book went off in directions he never anticipated.

He did a lot of interviews with the coaches and students. The head coach himself was once a student, and a basketball player, at the school. The two
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
**This Review is going to be extremely rushed as I would like to get it out before its release date and Im far too busy in the upcoming days to flesh this out**

Im absolutely ashamed to say prior to Dragon Hoops I have only read one Gene Luen Yang graphic novel, which was American Born Chinese and it was phenomenal, however I never picked up Boxers and Saints. Of course I will be changing that as soon as I can because I loved Dragon Hoops with my whole heart.

I will be completely honest when I saw
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
Sean Kottke
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2020
I savored this book over the course of a week, resisting the urge to down it all in one gulp. On the (figurative) surface, a chronicle of one high school basketball season might seem like a "light" entry in Yang's oeuvre. However, on the literal surface, the book immediately stands out as something extraordinary, with a dust jacket texture mimicking that of a basketball and a considerable heft. Several threads braid together: a memoir of the author negotiating the demands of teaching, a career ...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
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an electronic ARC from First Second Books through NetGalley.
Graphic novel.
Yang takes on explaining basketball in his latest graphic novel. He writes from his own perspective as he is a main character in this book. He shares about his time as a teacher at Bishop O'Dowd High School. The basketball team carries quite a legacy as it has excelled for decades but has never won a state championship. Yang has committed to writing a book about basketball to expand his own knowledge areas and
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Teaching, Comics, Family. Teaching, Comics, Family. What portion of the pie chart of life will each priority cover? What portion should each priority cover? Yang feels the shift as he starts this project and when hes offered other projects he knows something will have to give. And then his frustrations with the writing process. He wants to make sure to tell the story correctly, to conduct the interviews well, and not leave anything out, no matter how uncomfortable the topic may be.

This book
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Immediately, upon reading Gene Luen Yang's books you feel his honesty. I instantly know he leaves it all on the page. I have to admit I read American Born Chinese only two weeks ago. While that story openly talked about race, identity, and belonging, Dragon Hoops is more on the informative side. As the reader you are inside Gene's head as he tries to write his next book. You are reading about the interviews, research and even the conversations with his wife. Dragon Hoops is not just the story of ...more
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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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