Digging Deep (Hoops #4)

by Elena Delle Donne (Author)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
Series: Hoops

From WNBA MVP, Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the fourth novel in a middle grade series with as much heart as there is game.

Elle is still reeling from her BIG decision but is also amazed at all the free time she has without basketball. With so much time to fill, she can figure out what she really likes doing--and maybe finding ways to spend more time with Amanda. But when she keeps being drawn back to the gym, could her big decision have been a big mistake?

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School Library Journal

Gr 4-7 In this fourth volume of the "Hoops" series, 12-year-old Elle is struggling with the fallout of quitting the basketball team. She's trying out the Buddy Club, which focuses on preventing bullying, and is enjoying more free time now that she doesn't have basketball practice. Her best friends, who are all still on the team, feel betrayed by her decision, especially when Elle accepts a temporary position on the volleyball team subbing for a teammate recovering from an injury. Elle reflects on what she can do to ensure playing on the basketball team is better suited to her mental and emotional needs. The series's plot is heavily inspired by the author's life as a professional women's basketball player and an Olympic gold medalist. Play-by-play scenes of practices and games are gripping and aren't bogged down by sports jargon. The writing keeps the story moving and will draw in newly independent readers and hold the attention of those who are dipping into the YA section. VERDICT Donne entices fans of realistic middle grade fiction by infusing this sports story with timely subjects such as bullying and friendship issues. She also uses her experience as an ambassador for both the Special Olympics and for the Global Lyme Alliance to add depth to the plot and characters. Highly recommended for middle grade sports collections.-Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Highly recommended for middle grade sports collections.—School Library Journal - Online "May 2019 "
Elena Delle Donne
Elena Delle Donne has been a professional women's basketball player since 2013, when she was selected by the Chicago Sky second overall in the WNBA draft. She was the 2015 WNBA MVP and won the gold medal with the USA's women's basketball team in the 2016 Olympics. She is the global ambassador for the Special Olympics and became the first national ambassador for the Lyme Research Alliance. Elena also plays host to De11e Donne Academy, a basketball camp that runs throughout the year, where she mentors and coaches girls ages seven to eighteen. She now plays for the Washington, DC, Mystics.

Sarah Durand is a New York Times bestselling collaborator who works with celebrities, beauty and wellness experts, professional athletes, CEOs, and women with a mission. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date
June 25, 2019
BISAC categories
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV014000 - Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
JUV032000 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | General
Library of Congress categories
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Self-Estee
Basketball stories
Middle schools
JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / Bask

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