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Inspired by the traditional Choctaw story “No Name,” this modern adaptation features a present-day Choctaw teenager surviving tough family times. Abandoned by his mother, Bobby Byington is left alone with his mean-spirited, abusive father.
The one place the teen can find peace is on the neighborhood basketball court. But after a violent confrontation with his father, the teen runs away, only to return home to find an unexpected hiding spot in his own back yard that becomes his home for weeks. When Bobby has a chance to play on the high school basketball team, he decides—with the help and encouragement of his coach, a Cherokee buddy, and a quiet next-door girlfriend—to face his father.
2015 Wordcraft Honors and Awards Winner - Middle Grade
In a simply but lyrically told tale, a Choctaw boy builds himself a hole in the ground to hide from his alcoholic father. Bobby finds support from his Cherokee basketball-player friend Johnny, his neighbor Carolina Faye, and his dad's friend Mr. Robison, who tells him a Choctaw story about a boy called No Name and his fraught relationship with his father. Bobby's mixed emotions toward his own flawed father, and his father's toward him, are conveyed in straightforward yet revealing lines of dialogue and first-person narration ("He might be the biggest bully in town, but he was still my dad"). Expressive and many-layered. (Fiction. 12-16)
—Kirkus Reviews September 15, 2014
“The No Name series deals head-on with heavy topics, such as racism, alcoholism, bullying, teamwork, and familial forgiveness. It’s good to see the language and traditions of the Native American experience so prominently woven throughout a straightforward sports story.”
—Booklist, September 2017