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Toni #4
Cover of Toni #4
Toni #4
Blacktop Series, Book 4
by LJ Alonge
Borrow
A street-smart, action-packed basketball series with action on and off the court.
Toni isn't Coach Wise's favorite player on Team Blacktop. Honestly, she's not even in his top five. And if she's being real, her own teammates keep siding with him during practice.
But this isn't the first time she's been on her own, and it won't be the last. If you can't count on yourself, who can you count on?
A street-smart, action-packed basketball series with action on and off the court.
Toni isn't Coach Wise's favorite player on Team Blacktop. Honestly, she's not even in his top five. And if she's being real, her own teammates keep siding with him during practice.
But this isn't the first time she's been on her own, and it won't be the last. If you can't count on yourself, who can you count on?
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    770
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter 1: Salty Coach, Sour Pickles

    No lie, Coach Wise even yells at me in my dreams. Which is not to say my dreams are edge-of-your-seat thrillers. I'm not one of those kids who spends all night riding on the backs of flying tarantulas. I never fall off seaside cliffs or wake up in a cold sweat, afraid of shadowy things lurking under my bed. I got enough problems as is; I don't have time to invent more for myself. Besides, you only find that kind of magical stuff in books with talking dogs or time- traveling closets. I don't even have a regular closet. Me and my older brother Roddy keep our clothes on a broken bookshelf left behind by the last person who lived in our apartment.

    Anyway—I was telling you about my dreams. Mostly I just kind of walk around my neighborhood, living my life, eating fried pickles, until Coach Wise pops out from behind a Dumpster or bumps into me in a crowd and starts talking trash.

    "This is what you dream about?" he shouted last night. I dropped a letter I was holding into a sewer. He has this voice, growling and deep, that makes me think of empty stomachs. "Running errands? Where's your generation's imagination?"

    Every time I think about Coach Wise, I shudder. Not a practice goes by without him chasing me around the court, whist le propped threateningly in the corner of his mouth, ready to tear me to shreds. Toni, go faster! Toni, you're killing us! Toni, why in God's name did you do that? When things get really bad, he suggests cutting up my jersey, making scissors out of his fingers with childlike glee. I don't know why I make him so mad, but the one thing I do know is that you can't go through life letting people talk to you any kind of way. Doesn't matter who they are. Even Roddy has to ask nicely when it's my turn to do the dishes. Sometimes I forget or I just don't feel like it and I can sense him getting worked up, but if he says even a word, he knows I'll stick a foot so far up his angelic little— What I'm saying is that you get to a point when you got to stand up for yourself. You got to let people know you're not one to be played with. And Lord knows there's no reason to be scared of Coach Wise. His truck has not one, but two of those coexist bumper stickers. His forearm hair is thin and limp. When he thinks no one's looking, he rubs behind his ears and sniffs his fingers.

    "Coach Wise," I tell him after practice today, "we gotta talk."

    He squints unhappily in my direction. "Yes, Toni," he grumbles. It kills him to even say my name, I can tell. His arms are crossed security-guard style in front of him. "I don't appreciate how you always yelling at me."

    "Some people call that motivation, Toni. I'm a coach. I motivate." For some reason he opens an imaginary book, licks his finger, and pretends to flip a few pages. He points to his palm. "Coach. Definition: a person who helps others through sustained encouragement." He closes the book by slapping his palms.

    Something strange and hot rises in my throat. Sometimes I have too many things to say and the words get so jammed before they get to my mouth that I end up sounding stupid. "So that means, like, what? So you think you're— So you gotta yell?"

    A corner of his mouth twitches. He rolls his neck long and slowly rubs his temples. He says I make his brain hurt. He says he's never had a player so unwilling to follow directions. He asks if I think his instructions are just suggestions, open to any old interpretation. He wants to know why, for example, I get rebounds and dribble the ball up even though I know I'm supposed to pass out lets to Frank or Adrian. "Yeah, well, I figured it'd...
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Young Readers Group
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
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Toni #4
Toni #4
Blacktop Series, Book 4
LJ Alonge
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