Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 6n/a5.259685
From the #1 bestselling author of Heat, Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw comes a feel-good basketball tale reminiscent of The Blind Side.

Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. Besides, his real home has always been the beat-up basketball court behind the projects in the North Carolina hills, and his family has always been his friends and teammates. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates.

Jayson, at first, is combatative, testing the Lawtons' patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson's new life is so ready to trust him--and even Jayson's old friends give him a hard time now that he's attending a school full of rich kids. It's on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadium–home to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing bigtime college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.

In the tradition of uplifting stories like The Blind Side, Fast Break has all the family-friendly sports action Mike Lupica has become known and loved for.

Praise for Fast Break

"Eager fans will find this a slam-dunk. A must-purchase."–Booklist

"Lupica's announcer-like delivery will have you breathless, on the edge of your seat, cheering."–Florida Times-Union

"Fast Break is the perfect middle-grade read for fans of basketball. With so much attention to detail in each game, readers are practically with the characters on the court. Lupica has done it again."–VOYA


Hardcover, 272 pages
Published on November 3, 2015 by Philomel Books
ISBN-10: 0399256067
ISBN-13: 9780399256066
3 Book Reviews
  • bilskis
    bilskisabout 2 years44 stars
    Mike Lupica is one of my favorite authors. His stories deal with sports which I love. The story is realistic fiction, one that I can relate to.
    • basketball 1over 3 years
      Good book will make you keep reading for more
      • langston_p
        langston_pover 5 years55 stars
        I thought this was a really good book and I was very thankful that I read it. It is about a kid named Jayson Barnes, and he is really good at basketball. But unfortunately, something really bad happened to him, his mother died from using drugs and his mother's boyfriend, Richie abandoned him, leaving him alone in his apartment. He does good living by himself, stealing to eat but one day, his teacher asks him when he will get new basketball shoes. So he attempts to steal new ones, but get's caught. He is put in a new rich family, and now has to live with them. He gets put in a new team in a new school, and a whole new environment, but many new opportunities have come up. I really liked it and it was a very interesting book.