Boy 21
matthew quick

You can lose yourself in repetition--quiet your thoughts; I learned the value of this at a very young age.Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in broken-down Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, his dad works nights, and Finley is left to take care of his disabled grandfather alone. He's always dreamed of getting out someday, but until he can, putting on that number 21 jersey makes everything seem okay.
Russ has just moved to the neighborhood, and the life of this teen basketball phenom has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he won't pick up a basketball, but answers only to the name Boy21--taken from his former jersey number.
As their final year of high school brings these two boys together, a unique friendship may turn out to be the answer they both need.

(summary from

Castner's Comments

Fabulous. This book is a beautifully written story about tragedy and friendship and unfair circumstances. Just go get it and read it right now. And then tell me how much you loved it.