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Reviewed by Laurie Gray for Readers' Favorite
"Game-Day Youth: Learning Basketball’s Lingo" by Suzy Beamer Bohnert offers the true novice a simple resource for understanding the game of basketball. Designed as a handy reference, the book begins with a 12-page overview of the basic rules and skills such as footwork, dribbling, passing, and shooting followed by a 2-page explanation of the guard, forward and center positions. The author includes a diagram of a basketball court with all of the relevant markings and measurements, a diagram comparing a zone defense to a man-to-man defense, and a diagram containing 38 signals used by the officials. At the heart of the book are 58 pages of definitions, everything from “air ball” to a “zone press,” followed by an index listing everything from “All-America” and “All Star” to “Washington Wizards” and “zone defense.”
This is an excellent resource for elementary and middle school students just beginning to play the game, and for their parents, teachers and coaches who sometimes struggle for simple ways to explain the fundamentals. If you are looking for a playbook, practice exercises, or winning strategies, look elsewhere. But if your objective is to build a sound basis of understanding for new players and fans, this book is a great place to start. Bohnert writes clearly and concisely, differentiating between the rules of high school, college and professional basketball when necessary. She outlines the six divisions and 30 teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but wisely avoids mentioning the names of any players that might outdate the book too quickly.