The first two chapters are mostly about a basketball game, although in the second paragraph one could already get a clue of what one of the main themes of the book is about: Harper doesn’t know his father and finds an envelope from his dad, which causes him to be distracted during the match. It gives a different twist to the story that he is romantically interested in his rival’s sister. The rest of the book is about finding his father. Because of the style, the book is easy to read. I didn’t stumble over complicated words or anything. There’s some slang, but not so much that it gets annoying or harder to read. Great balance! Sometimes it’s a bit humorous, like when Harper (the main character) flirts with a girl he likes after he hits the jumper and the coach yells at him to “get his head back in the game.”
The book really takes you back to high school, the time that being good at sports and/or music and trying to win the pretty girl’s love are some of the most important issues on a male teenager’s mind. Since basketball is MY favorite sport, I really appreciated the thoughts and feelings described in the story. My own parents have never been separated, but I know of enough youngsters who would empathize with this character because they never knew their fathers. Harper matures as he finds another meaning next to having his passion and his girl, namely, finding his father.
Review by Vincent Noot (illustrator of the “Find the Cutes” series)