Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hard Wood by Sugar Rodgers

They Better Call Me Sugar Cover Art

They Better Call Me Sugar: My Journey from the Hood to the Hard Wood by Sugar Rodgers
Black Sheep/Akashic Books
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
ISBN: 978-1617759710

WNBA All-Star Sugar Rodgers shares her story of growing up, poverty, family life, school, sports, friends, and how she eventually shaped a successful career as a professional basketball player for herself. 

The author’s writing style is clear and direct, and events happen chronologically. Tough issues are covered with a matter-of-fact tone. The book is less than 200 pages and Sugar’s voice is engaging and relatable. Basketball is central to Sugar’s story but she also talks about golf, meeting Tiger Woods, and the integral role of coaches in her life.

Those looking for other engaging titles related to basketball may also enjoy Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang. If readers are drawn to real-life memoirs about determination in the face of hardship, they may appreciate Free Lunch by Rex Ogle, Notes from a Young Black Chef (Adapted for Young Adults) by Kwame Onwuachi, Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and They Called Us Enemy by George Takei.

–Emily Williams, Oklahoma City, OK

Other Nominated Titles

  • That Weekend by Kara Thomas (July 29, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the Title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.

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Quick Picks

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.