#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, September 12 edition

After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay, narrated by Ramon De Ocampo and J. B. Adkins
Audio Published by Listening Library
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
ISBN: 978-1984828422 

Bunny and Nasir used to be best friends, but that was until Nasir found out his friend was leaving their public school to attend a nearby private school on a basketball scholarship. Bunny misses Nasir too, but is focused on his dream of playing professional basketball, mainly with the goal of earning enough money to take care of his family financially. With Bunny gone, Nasir starts spending more time with his cousin Wallace. Nasir learns that Wallace and his Grandmother are being evicted and can’t help but feel that everyone is willing to help his former basketball star best friend, but not his struggling cousin. As Wallace becomes more desperate to stop his eviction, he starts making bets on Bunny’s basketball games. With odds high in Bunny’s favor, if he lost one game, Wallace would have enough money to stay in his apartment. Nasir feels guilty that he cannot do more for Wallace, guilty enough to ask Bunny to throw a game?

The audio of After the Shot Drops is well narrated by both Adkins and De Ocampo, alternating between the two distinct voices and personalities of Nasir and Bunny. Each narrator does an excellent job of presenting a nuanced complex character throughout the telling of this story. The compelling narration keeps you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what is going to happen next. The narration also makes the listener have complex feelings in support of both main characters and their goals; to help out their families.

This book is a great selection for fans of sports fiction, urban fiction and socially conscious fiction. As there is a violent scene towards the end of the book, this title may best suit older teens.  Readers of this book may also like the writing of authors Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Pena, and Walter Dean Myers.

Erin Durrett