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Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball

Taking over a rowdy gym class right before winter vacation is not something James Naismith wants to do at all. The last two teachers of this class quit in frustration. The students—a bunch… Read More →

  • Lexile: 880
  • ATOS: 4.6
  • Dewey: 796.323'2


Library Media Connection

“Naismith’s story offers an excellent way to reach reluctant readers when launching a research project or collaborating across disciplines.” —Library Media Connection


The New York Times Book Review

“There’s a bit of Otto Dix in Morse’s distinctive paintings, with their angular contours and somber, blue-tinted skin, which lends an incongruous, though not displeasing, coolness to the notably hot-blooded sport.” —The New York Times Book Review


School Library Journal

“Morse’s energetic illustrations add an old-fashioned charm to the narrative….This entertaining and informative story will delight young sports fans.” —School Library Journal


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“The fun here is in the contrast between Coy’s straightforward narration and the stylized mayhem of Morse’s cast of maroon-shirted, all-American-looking college guys.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


The Horn Book Magazine

“Coy understands the power of detail . . . and his tight focus on the game’s initial season is immediately engrossing. Spare, precise language reflects the game’s welcome sense of order as well as its athletic appeal. Morse’s kinetic paintings, at once dynamic and controlled, fill the…



“Well researched with material artifacts and primary sources, this classic story is boosted significantly by big, blocky, muscular illustrations in muted tones that effortlessly mix tongue-in-cheek whimsy with serious action. Anybody who plays the game or watches it ought to find this…