Hooper by Geoff Herbach is a novel about prejudice, opportunity, and family. Teenage orphan Adam Sobieski, born in Poland, lives with his single-parent adoptive mother. He goes to high school in Mankato, Minnesota and excels in his basketball skills on the team. He is scouted by and joins a prestigious travel team in the state. He has issues connecting with other teenagers due to his lack of English skills, and has to deal with some racial tensions with his teammates because he is the only white kid on the team. During his time at high school he faces prejudice for his background as an immigrant from Poland, and rough relationships with his friends.
What I like about this book is how Adam deals with his problems. He must work throughout the book to prove himself to people on his team to trust him. I like Adam’s quality of persistence to fix his friendships and relationships with his teammates. I like how the book has a suspenseful feeling at the end of each chapter that makes me want to find what is going to happen next to Adam.
I think that this book is a good read for middle-schoolers since it is not too challenging to understand the concepts. The author has a good way of presenting the events and hardships in Adam’s life. This book is great for middle-schoolers also because of how they can relate to Adam’s life. Many students can relate with Adam’s academic skills, and sometimes his social awkwardness as he engages in a new environment in a different country.