29 Sept 2022

We Can(ada) Read: WRONG SIDE OF THE COURT by H.N. Khan

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Author: H.N. Khan
Series: N/A
Source: Gifted from the 2022 Toronto Book Awards Team
Publisher: Penguin Teen Canada
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

Fifteen-year-old Fawad has big dreams about being the world's first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. A first-generation Pakistani coming-of-age story for fans of David Yoon and Ben Philippe.

Fifteen-year-old Fawad Chaudhry loves two things: basketball and his mother's potato and ground-beef stuffed parathas. Both are round and both help him forget about things like his father, who died two years ago, his mother's desire to arrange a marriage to his first cousin, Nusrat, back home in Pakistan, and the tiny apartment in Regent Park he shares with his mom and sister. Not to mention his estranged best friend Yousuf, who's coping with the shooting death of his older brother.

But Fawad has plans: like, asking out Ashley, even though she lives on the other, wealthier, side of the tracks, and saving his friend Arif from being beaten into a pulp for being the school flirt, and making the school basketball team and dreaming of being the world's first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. All he has to do now is convince his mother to let him try out for the basketball team. And let him date girls from his school. Not to mention somehow get Omar, the neighborhood bully, to leave him alone
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book. This in no way impacts my opinion.

This is one of the books on the shortlist of the 2022 Toronto Book Awards!

Content Warning: violence, murder, drugs, alcohol, addiction, theft, stealing, threats

Bullets don't have conscience; they don't distinguish between targets,decides who deserve that. They just tear through flesh and leave wounds.

I thought the writing could have used a little polishing and extra editing, but overall that didn't pull me from the story or detract from the overall awesomeness that was Wrong Side of the Court. Was it a little cheesy? Yes. Was it a little over the top hopeful? Also, yes. Did I love every minute of it? YES!

This is a good coming of age story that highlights the struggles and challenges of growing up in a challenging area as well as facing different sociopolitical issues. I really liked a lot of the scenes with Fawad and Ashley, especially with her parents. I thought there was a bit more that could have been done with that and their relationship, but I liked that it was left open-ended at the end.

The sports writing was fantastic, and I felt every moment of the games. I loved the realness of the characters, their conversations, and how things came to be. I thought the conversations around generational poverty were really interesting, especially in the context of Regent Park.

I highly recommend reading this one!

Are you going to pick this up?

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