What does it mean to be a true teammate? How can someone be a good teammate if it seems like no one is on his team at home?
In Mike Lupica’s Hot Hand, the main character, Billy Raynor, is the best shooter in his basketball league. His dad and coach, Joe Raynor, wants Billy to be a pass first player, but all Billy wants to do is keep shooting. And why not, when he makes almost every shot? Billy’s life is fine until his parents file a divorce and Billy hardly sees either of them. This is where the plot starts to twist and the book gets very intriguing. His mom, Lynn Raynor, is a major lawyer and is always out of town for business and the only time he sees his dad is at basketball, where all he can seem to do is yell at him. In one of their games Billy was making every shot and not passing. Joe benched him, and yelled at him about being a team player and Billy said “What do you know about being part of a team.” Billy is talking about his parents’ divorce and his dad not living with the rest of them. This was my favorite part of the book because it shows how hard the divorce is on Billy and how he really feels. Billy continues to shoot often as the season goes on. Billy and not only the best player in the league, but also Billy’s best friend in the world Lenny Dinardo lead the team to a perfect regular season record. Everything seems fine, except Billy’s little brother, Ben, a piano prodigy, seems quiet. One day at school Billy finds Ben being bullied by none other than Zeke, the nastiest kid in town. Billy feels a burning rage and decides to punch Zeke, erupting into a fist fight between Zeke and Billy earning them both suspended. As Billy’s team rolls to the championship, Ben starts to miss piano classes as his recital moves closer and closer. Billy continues to worry about Ben, but Ben stresses he doesn’t want BIlly to worry. Will Billy find out that being a good teammate sometimes means leaving people alone?
Mike Lupica’s Hot Hand is a great book for anyone who has felt like no one supports them or feels like they are not a good teammate. This book shows situations where Billy has to make difficult decisions and has to be mature at the age of ten. Hot Hand held me captive from first word to last. It has a great plot and an excellent ending. I highly recommend this book. If you liked other Mike Lupica books I guarantee you will rave about this.
Author; Mike Lupica