I enjoy college basketball, so it’s not surprising that I liked John Grisham’s new novel, Sooley. This book gives a glimpse into the world of college recruiting and the lucrative world of sports in America.
Samuel Sooleymon is a 17 year old from South Sudan who loves basketball and is a sensation in his small village. Compared to American teens, his game is very rough but he has a great work ethic, attitude and potential. Ecko Lam, a college scout, chooses Samuel to play in a showcase in Florida and his dreams of NBA greatness begin to build. While Samuel is at the showcase, his village in South Sudan is attacked by rebels. He worries about his parents and brothers, but news is hard to come by. Because of the fighting, Samuel is unable to go back home and his family is always on his mind. His basketball journey and his ties to his family are the basis for the rest of the novel.
I was happy that there were good hearted coaches who really cared about Samuel in this story. There was lots of ‘play by play’ of basketball games, but the goodness of Samuel’s character was also stressed. As a reader, I wanted so much for Samuel to succeed and to be able to help his family. When you check this book out, you can discover the ending for yourself!
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