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After the Shot Drops
Cover of After the Shot Drops
After the Shot Drops
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A powerful novel about friendship, basketball, and one teen's mission to create a better life for his family. Written in the tradition of Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Peña, and Walter Dean Myers, After the Shot Drops now has 3 starred reviews!

* "Belongs on the shelf alongside contemporary heavy-hitters like Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give, Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds's All-American Boys, and Nic Stone's Dear Martin."—School Library Journal, starred review

Bunny and Nasir have been best friends forever, but when Bunny accepts an athletic scholarship across town, Nasir feels betrayed. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is being evicted. Nasir can't help but wonder why the neighborhood is falling over itself to help Bunny when Wallace is in trouble.
When Wallace makes a bet against Bunny, Nasir is faced with an impossible decision—maybe a dangerous one.

Told from alternating perspectives, After the Shot Drops is a heart-pounding story about the responsibilities of great talent and the importance of compassion.


A powerful novel about friendship, basketball, and one teen's mission to create a better life for his family. Written in the tradition of Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Peña, and Walter Dean Myers, After the Shot Drops now has 3 starred reviews!

* "Belongs on the shelf alongside contemporary heavy-hitters like Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give, Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds's All-American Boys, and Nic Stone's Dear Martin."—School Library Journal, starred review

Bunny and Nasir have been best friends forever, but when Bunny accepts an athletic scholarship across town, Nasir feels betrayed. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is being evicted. Nasir can't help but wonder why the neighborhood is falling over itself to help Bunny when Wallace is in trouble.
When Wallace makes a bet against Bunny, Nasir is faced with an impossible decision—maybe a dangerous one.

Told from alternating perspectives, After the Shot Drops is a heart-pounding story about the responsibilities of great talent and the importance of compassion.

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Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2018

    POPGr 8 Up-A dually narrated story of two teen boys, Bunny and Nasir, struggling with a dying friendship shapes Ribay's latest. Nasir feels abandoned after Bunny leaves their school to attend an upscale private school to play basketball and is dating Keyona, a girl he had always been interested in. The season is going well and the team, led by Bunny, is on its way to winning a state title. But Nasir's friend Wallace is digging himself deeper into debt and physical trouble, placing bets on high school games and against Bunny's specifically. Nasir then becomes complicit in sabotaging Bunny's chances with explosive and life-altering consequences. Not only is the book well-paced with short chapters switching perspectives, the secondary characters are rich in detail, and Bunny and Nasir are fully realized protagonists with families, friendship, school, and sports. Drama propels the story forward while its emotional appeal builds empathy for both boys' circumstances. Seamlessly, tension exacerbates the weighty choices that come with their responsibilities. And while the climax is predictable, it feels inevitable. The trajectory of each boy's future is in the hands of the third teen, Wallace. Without a doubt, Ribay's compelling book belongs on the shelf alongside contemporary heavy-hitters like Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give, Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds's All-American Boys, and Nic Stone's Dear Martin. VERDICT A must-have for YA shelves.-Alicia Abdul, Albany High School, NY

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 15, 2018
    Told in alternating first-person narratives, this layered and emotionally rich story gracefully captures its protagonists’ external pressures and inner conflicts. Aware of his parents’ financial struggles, high school sophomore and basketball star Bunny accepts a full scholarship to St. Sebastian’s, a private school, hoping to increase his chances of getting a full ride to college. His best friend Nasir views this choice as a defection and cuts ties with Bunny. Ribay (An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes) conveys both boys’ isolation: Bunny struggles as one of the few black students in his school (“Most days I don’t feel like anything more than their mascot”), and Nasir wrestles with rejection and frustration, particularly as he compares Bunny’s good fortune with the dire circumstances facing his cousin Wallace: “He’s got the world looking out for him. I’m the only one in Wallace’s corner.” As the boys take tentative steps to salvage their friendship, they navigate high-stakes choices and consider the value of loyalty, integrity, and sacrifice in a story driven by fast-paced drama on and off the court. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kaylee Davis, Dee Mura Literary.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2018
    Basketball provides the backdrop for a friendship pushed to its limits in this tale told from the alternating perspectives of two teen boys growing up in a tough inner-city neighborhood reminiscent of Camden, New Jersey. Biracial Nasir and African-American Bunny had been best of friends until last summer, when Bunny, Whitman High's star basketball player, is recruited away to private, suburban St. Sebastian's and its high-powered basketball program. The once-prideful reputation that he garnered winning for the home team, a la real-life Camden legend Dajuan Wagner, turns to insult, rage, and anger as his former classmates question whether Bunny is preparing to leave them and the neighborhood behind for good. After losing Bunny, Nasir begins to build a relationship with his perennially troubled black cousin Wallace, a wayward child who needs much more support than the world has afforded him and who lashes out frequently in numerous exhausting ways. Meanwhile, the lightning-smart Keyona, Bunny's girlfriend and biggest remaining Whitman fan, hopes to rekindle the friendship between Bunny and Nasir. By and large avoiding upfront race talk, Ribay makes his point by drawing characters of color full of complexity and contradiction. A genuine touch of Filipino flavor--Nasir's mom grew up in the Philippines--demonstrates that one can step beyond reductive black/white-only portrayals of inner-city neighborhood life.A well-executed book featuring complex, diverse characters we rarely meet--a real winner for its heartbeat, compassion, and integrity. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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After the Shot Drops
Randy Ribay
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