Ball Don't Lie

March Madness is just around the corner, so now's a great time to check out some fiction about basketball. Ball Don't Lie, by Matt de la Pena is a great place to start. Between foster homes and living in the street, Sticky 17, has developed some amazing basketball skills; enough to get him noticed by big-time scouts. He hangs out at Lincoln Rec, a gym in L.A. which functions as a shelter and a place where serious ball players go. Sticky's compulsive about his stance, his routine, and his shots, but way beyond normal. He's obsessive as he tucks his shirt in six or more times, until he gets it right. Detailed game action pulses like a fast court break. Anh-thu, is Sticky's girlfriend and she too wants him to reach his dreams.

Other top picks for basketball-fiction: Black and White, Perfect Shot, Learning the Game, and How I Fell in Love and Learned to Shoot Free Throws.