The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park by Teko Bernard
All Bernard Jones wanted to do while staying with his grandparents for the summer in Elmdale, his father’s childhood hometown, was work on his basketball skills. When Bernard excitedly enters a team into the Annual Elmdale Park Basketball Tournament, he’s shocked to discover that the future of the park is at stake. The town of Elmdale hasn’t won the tournament in 20 years, and Victor Franco, a ruthless millionaire, is planning to shut down the annual tournament for good so that he can turn the historic Elmdale Park into a landfill for his own profit. It can all be stopped if Bernard and his team, the Elmdale Warriors, win the tournament this year. Can the courageous Bernard and his fun and wacky crew defeat their Oakdale rivals and save the historic Park?The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park, by Teko Bernard, is written to delight and challenge middle schoolers, ages 8 - 13.
My Thoughts: Sports books are very popular with boys yet you don't see many sports fiction in the literature world. This book was a joy to see since it was about basketball. It was also great to learn that this was a delightful and entertaining children's book.
The story was fun. I liked how it was a mixture of realistic fiction with fantasy/science fiction. The story centered Bernard on how he was trying to gather a basketball team to finally win a game for Elmdale Park. Everything that happened in the story could be very relatable except for the basketball. That's when it became fantasy. It was still very fun to see how the basketball became a big character in the story.
The character of Bernard was inspiring. I think many boys would be able to relate to him. Not only did he love basketball but he loved his father. He showed strength and courage throughout the story. Though Bernard was upset with his father, he was still able to get past his anger and show how much he cared for him by trying to make his father's plans a reality. This kind of character is someone many boys should get to read.
This was a very entertaining read. The illustrations in the book were eye catching and made the story come to life.
My only complain about the book was that towards the ending it felt a little rushed. I would have liked to have read how the boys got trained with the basketball. Other than that, I liked the rest of the book. I especially loved how an antagonist showed a slight change at the end.
Overall, I find this book to be great for children especially young boys. I rate it:
About the Author:
For over a decade Teko Bernard worked as a creative director and graphic designer in the sportswear and sports events industries where he developed brand identities, marketing communications and apparel graphics for nationally recognized brands and events like ESPN, X Games, NCAA and the BCS. After an exciting career in the sportswear and sports event market, Teko set out to pursue his lifelong dream of creating the original kid’s entertainment brand and cartoon property that is Elmdale Park. Elmdale Park currently produces a unique brand of middle grade chapter books & activewear. The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park is the debut book from the brand. Teko lives and operates the company from Overland Park, KS, and collaborates with a team of seasoned writers, illustrators, editors and designers who all share the same passion for kids books, cartoons, sports and outdoor recreation. When he’s not designing or developing new story concepts for Elmdale Park, Teko is usually reading, listening to music, enjoying the outdoors or being an amateur movie critic.