CINCO PUNTOS PRESS
 
With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.
CINCO PUNTOS PRESS
childrens books
young adult books
poetry books
fiction books
non-fiction books
graphic novels
first concepts
featured titles

about us
customer service

social
Teacher's Resources
View & Print our Bilingual Catalog
View & Print our YA Catalog

<< Back to NEXT

NEXT

Kirkus Reviews
“Waltman’s series opener (first of a planned four) features plenty of basketball action fueled by hoops slang that will set basketball-mad readers right onto the court … The author avoids slam-dunk answers, leaving readers poised for the next book. Like Derrick, this series is off to a promising high school career.”
A kid who’s got the moves needs the smarts to go with them.
Derrick may be just 15 and only entering high school, but Division I and even NBA dreams are not unrealistic—but first he has to make the starting squad at Marion East, the mostly black high school in his inner-city Indianapolis neighborhood. This means impressing the coach that his uncle blames for scotching his own NBA dreams years earlier. Readers won’t be as surprised as Derrick is when he is not automatically named to the starting five or when the coach insists that he stop relying on his dunk and practice shooting from a distance—and start learning how to be part of a team. Resentful, Derrick considers transferring to snooty Hamilton Academy, where he’s being energetically recruited and where his underemployed father has been promised a full-time custodian job. Waltman’s series opener (first of a planned four) features plenty of basketball action fueled by hoops slang that will set basketball-mad readers right onto the court. Derrick’s easy, colloquial narration occasionally leaves the court for scenes at home, where his parents struggle to make ends meet, and in school, where he cluelessly woos the beautiful Jasmine. Waltman’s lovingly sketched Indianapolis lends the tale further authenticity. The author avoids slam-dunk answers, leaving readers poised for the next book.
Like Derrick, this series is off to a promising high school career. (Fiction. 12-18)
- September 18, 2013  Visit Website
Publishers Weekly
“packed with … action, but also impressively multifaceted, as it examines neighborhood rivalries, the tremendous pressures that come with making one's first adult decisions, and the values of both teamwork and individuality.”
For 15-year-old Derrick "D-Bow" Bowen, basketball is life. A freshman at an Indianapolis high school, he dreams of being a starting point guard and eventually playing in the NBA. Everyone has an opinion about how Derrick should reach those goals. The team's no-nonsense coach is determined to keep Derrick "pinned to the pine," training him all hours to help the team make it to State. Derrick's parents disagree about whether he should transfer to an academy in the suburbs, and Derrick's scheming Uncle Kid is attempting to compensate for his own failed basketball career through Derrick. Then there are Derrick's sophisticated crush, Jasmine, and his grounded best friend Wes who want him to widen his horizons beyond the court. First in a planned four-book series covering Derrick's four years of high school, Waltman's (Learning the Game) novel is packed with basketball jargon and action, but also impressively multifaceted, as it examines neighborhood rivalries, the tremendous pressures that come with making one's first adult decisions, and the values of both teamwork and individuality. Ages 14–up. (Dec.)
- December 1, 2013  Visit Website
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 1 Stars
The book bypasses the customary convolutions in this sharply honed drama, making D-Bow’s story even more realistic and engaging for its sheer credibility. There are no good guys or bad guys here, no crimes or even bad decisions, just the strenuous effort of personal discipline and team-building that any athlete D-Bow’s age might encounter. Waltman’s acute ear for dialogue and effortless mastery at describing extended plays add the flash and velocity to keep readers fully invested in the outcome of the raggedy season.
Derrick “D-Bow” Bowen has the same hoop dreams as every other rising freshman hot shot—to speedily convince the coach and upper-class players on the high school team of his awesomeness and to become the starter that will lead them to the state title. D-Bow has speed on the court and power on the dunk, but his jump shots need a total overhaul. He’s willing to learn, and Coach Bolden is willing to teach, but skills development and the integration of a new member into the team take patience, a virtue in short supply among adolescent boys charged up for a stellar season. A private academy that regularly grooms players for Division I college play is wooing D-Bow as well, and his own calculus of individual success versus team loyalty is complicated by his parents’ debates over race, class, and neighborhood loyalty. Though the familiar smackdowns, beat-ups, and general comeuppances that typically lead to life lessons learned and victory in YA sports fiction are all present, the book bypasses the customary convolutions in this sharply honed drama, making D-Bow’s story even more realistic and engaging for its sheer credibility. There are no good guys or bad guys here, no crimes or even bad decisions, just the strenuous effort of personal discipline and team-building that any athlete D-Bow’s age might encounter. Waltman’s acute ear for dialogue and effortless mastery at describing extended plays add the flash and velocity to keep readers fully invested in the outcome of the raggedy season. If the projected series develops as steadily as D-Bow himself, Waltman may take this one all the way.
Alabama Writers' Forum
"Young basketball enthusiasts will love it … These choices [Derrick faces] are not sensational, but they are real and important."
Sports fans know that what football is to Alabama culture, basketball is to Indiana culture: passion, obsession, madness, religion.
Pop culture images of Indiana basketball, however, as opposed to the images of the NBA, show white small-town Hoosiers at play, coached by Gene Hackman. Although blond Larry Byrd, of French Lick, Indiana, has been retired for some time, he is still the model for Indiana hoops.
This whiteness is something of an exaggeration. In Gary and Indianapolis, especially, the high school teams are mostly African American.
The young adult novelist Kevin Waltman grew up in Indiana, played high school basketball and attended Depauw University. Waltman, now an Alabamian, took the MFA in creative writing at the University of Alabama, and stayed on to teach in the English Department.
In Next, Waltman’s third novel, he has created a more accurate picture of Hoosier basketball and done so with considerable elegance and authority and without stereotypes.
His hero, fifteen-year-old African-American Derrick Bowen, 6’ 3”, is a point guard. Already—one might even say prematurely—he is known on the court as D-Bow. Derrick is a basketball prodigy, about to enter the ninth grade of Marion East in Indianapolis. He has realistic hopes for a college basketball scholarship.
Derrick’s family lives in a modest middle-class home. His mom teaches and, along with his very sensible dad, is a stickler for manners, education, and good behavior in general. On Sundays the family goes to church, then the donut shop for a treat and then an obligatory stop at the bookstore.
Derrick will finally buy and read the Zora Neale Hurston novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, although admittedly to impress Jasmine Winters, a lovely and sophisticated schoolmate.
Derrick, whose mother demands proper grammar, tells his story in language relatively free of dialect and slang.
Derrick even uses adverbs, which most high school kids do not. In church he is amused by “a woman squeezed a little too tightly into her Sunday dress.”
Much of the novel is set on the court during games, and here the jargon is thick.
Contemporary terms of art are employed. Players don’t just make baskets or dunks or swishes. The ball “finds bottom.” Usually it doesn’t even “scrape iron.”
The opposition scores with “a pick-and-pop three, a backdoor layup, a spot-up three," and so on. Actually, the context makes this all clear enough.
We go through the season game by game, even play by play. Young basketball enthusiasts will love it.
And as with most YA novels, there are challenges and decisions. Will D-Bow make the starting five? Will the team come together as a cohesive unit and win the state championship?
Should Derrick transfer to the nearby prestigious mostly-white Hamilton Academy? Will he get up the nerve to date Jasmine?
These choices are not sensational, but they are real and important.
The plot is well paced, and supporting characters are well drawn. Teammate Nick is something of an egomaniac and feels threatened by Derrick. Moose, the center, is large and slow but reliable. Derrick’s younger brother Jayson is bookish, but extremely knowledgeable about basketball. He’s an avid reader of SLAM magazine.
Derrick’s best friend Wes plays in the high school band and is a connoisseur of sneakers. He covets a pair of Timberland Earthkeepers. When he finally gets a pair, “He lifts … [one] from the box and eyes it the way a jeweler might inspect a new diamond.”
For the record, D-Bow wears Adizeros.
Not everyone in the novel is crazy for basketball, including Derrick’s mom and, more importantly, Jasmine, so Derrick has some balance in his life. Jasmine is in fact wary of dating players since they are obsessed with basketball most of the time, can talk of nothing else, and, when they lose, are miserable company.
The novel closes with the end of Derrick’s freshman year, but we will follow this young man through three more years, one novel per year. The second, out soon, covering his sophomore year, is titled Slump.
- Don Noble, October 3, 2014  Visit Website
Tuscaloosa News
"In "Next," Waltman's third novel, he has created a more accurate picture of Hoosier basketball and done so with considerable elegance and authority, and without stereotypes."
Sports fans know that what football is to Alabama culture, basketball is to Indiana culture: passion, obsession, madness, religion.

Pop culture images of Indiana basketball, however, as opposed to the images of the NBA, show white small-town Hoosiers at play, coached by Gene Hackman. Although blond Larry Byrd of French Lick, Ind., has been retired for some time, he is still the model for Indiana hoops.

This whiteness is something of an exaggeration. In Gary, Ind., and Indianapolis especially, the high school teams are mostly African-American.

The young adult novelist Kevin Waltman grew up in Indiana, played high school basketball and attended DePauw University. Waltman, now an Alabamian, took the MFA in creative writing here and stayed to teach in the English department.

In "Next," Waltman's third novel, he has created a more accurate picture of Hoosier basketball and done so with considerable elegance and authority, and without stereotypes.

His hero, 15-year-old African-American Derrick Bowen, 6-3, is a point guard. Already — one might even say prematurely — he is known on the court as D-Bow. Derrick is a basketball prodigy about to enter the ninth grade of Marion East in Indianapolis. He has realistic hopes for a college basketball scholarship.

Derrick's family lives in a modest middle-class home. His mom teaches and, along with his very sensible dad, is a stickler for manners, education, good behavior in general.

On Sundays, the family goes to church, then the doughnut shop for a treat and then an obligatory stop at the bookstore.
Derrick will finally buy and read the Zora Neale Hurston novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God," although admittedly to impress Jasmine Winters, a lovely and sophisticated schoolmate.

Derrick, whose mother demands proper grammar, tells his story in language relatively free of dialect and slang.

Derrick even has adverbs, which most high school kids do not. In church, he is amused by "a woman squeezed a little too tightly into her Sunday dress."

Much of the novel is set on the court, during games, and here the jargon is thick.

Contemporary terms of art are employed. Players don't just make baskets or dunk, or swish. The ball "finds bottom." Usually it doesn't even "scrape iron."

The opposition scores with "a pick-and-pop three, a backdoor layup, a spot-up three," and so on. Actually, the context makes this all clear enough.

We go through the season game by game, even play by play. Young basketball enthusiasts will love it.

And as with most YA novels, there are challenges and decisions. Will D-Bow make the starting five? Will the team come together as a cohesive unit and win the state championship?

Should Derrick transfer to the nearby prestigious mostly white Hamilton Academy? Will he get up the nerve to date Jasmine? These choices are not sensational, but they are real and important.

The plot is well-paced, and supporting characters are well-drawn. Teammate Nick is something of an egomaniac, and feels threatened by Derrick. Moose, the center, is large and slow but reliable. Derrick's younger brother Jayson is bookish, but extremely knowledgeable about basketball. He's an avid reader of SLAM magazine.

Derrick's best friend Wes plays in the high school band and is a connoisseur of sneakers. He covets a pair of Timberland Earthkeepers. When he finally gets a pair, "He lifts … (one) from the box and eyes it the way a jeweler might inspect a new diamond."

For the record, D-Bow wears Adizeros.

Not everyone in the novel is crazy for basketball, including Derrick's mom and, more importantly, Jasmine, so Derrick has some balance in his life. Jasmine is in fact wary of dating players since they are obsessed with basketball most of the time, can talk of nothing else and, when they lose, are miserable company.

The novel closes with the end of Derrick's freshman year, but we will follow this young man through three more years, one novel per year. The second, out soon, covering his sophomore year, is titled "Slump."
- Don Noble, September 6, 2014  Visit Website

books for kids | young adults | poetry | non-fiction | fiction | on sale | featured titles
submissions | about us | customer service | contact us | bilingual books
search | privacy statement | ©2001 - 2017 Cinco Puntos Press
Designed by
Stanton Street 

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.