I Got Next

by Daria Peoples-Riley (Author) Daria Peoples-Riley (Illustrator)

I Got Next
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

It's game day! In this action-packed picture book from Daria Peoples-Riley, the creator of the acclaimed This Is It, a young basketball player gets ready for a neighborhood pickup game.

I Got Next encourages hard work and determination and celebrates the imagination and the joy of basketball. Fans of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes, will devour this exuberant book.

Time to play! Put your game face on, play to win. Fight, all the way to the end.

A young basketball player practices on the playground, preparing for an upcoming pickup game while his shadow urges him to play hard and leave his heart on the court. As the boy dribbles and weaves, shoots and scores, his shadow gives him the encouragement he needs to overcome pregame jitters and join the competition.

In the companion to her debut picture book This Is It, author-illustrator Daria Peoples-Riley praises hard work, dedication, and the love of the game. With vibrant artwork and a lively, rhythmic text, I Got Next is an exceptional read-aloud. The perfect choice for fans of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes, and Jabari Jumps, by Gaia Cornwall.

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Kirkus Reviews

 Important, beautiful, and full of heart. 

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3—As a young black boy prepares for a basketball game, his shadow encourages him to put his game face on. This figure accompanies and inspires the boy as he practices various basketball techniques. This book's illustrations wonderfully capture an urban setting with a variety of gray, navy, and pastel hues. Watercolors are used to add a beautiful and soft touch to the cityscape. The boy's realistic expressions capture his dedication and focus. Throughout the book, his game face becomes a central focal point for readers. The text appears to follow the boy as he dribbles a basketball; it cleverly captures the sense of movement and energy of the illustrations, echoing the play-by-play and reflecting patterns of dialogue often used by sport players completely immersed in a highly energetic game. Basketball terminology is seamlessly woven into this story by combining them with the boy's demonstration of various techniques. The rhythmic narrative has a soothing flow, making it ideal for read alouds. VERDICT This book will encourage children to work hard at whatever they wish to achieve and to never give up, both on the court and beyond. Highly recommended.—Deanna Smith, Pender County Public Library, NC

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Greenwillow Books
Publication date
July 30, 2019
BISAC categories
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV011010 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JUV005000 - Juvenile Fiction | Boys & Men
JUV032020 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Basketball
Library of Congress categories
Self-confidence in children
African Americans
African American boys
Shades and shadows
Basketball for children

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