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Children's Fiction Friendship


by (author) Johnny Boateng

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Recommended Age
10 to 13
Recommended Grade
4 to 8
Recommended Reading age
7 to 10
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Fourteen-year-old Johnny Huttle -- nicknamed "Hustle" by his best friend, Rex -- comes from an inner-city neighbourhood, where the streets are tough and the street ball games are rougher. More than anything, Johnny wants to shine as the school's star basketball player. But the one thing standing in his way is his best friend, Rex, who outshines Johnny effortlessly at everything, on and off the court. This makes Johnny angry enough that his game and their friendship suffer. When Rex starts getting into trouble in the neighbourhood and is suspended from the team, Johnny has to put his jealously aside to help his friend -- and his basketball team at the championship.

About the author

As a boy of African heritage growing up in Trail, B.C., JOHNNY BOATENG learned all about sports and ambition. He played division basketball in Indiana and at Simon Fraser University. He lives in Vancouver, B.C., where he founded The Dream Hoops Basketball Academy and serves as a mentor for disadvantaged youth. He is the author of the award-winning sports novel Hustle. This is his second book.

Johnny Boateng's profile page


  • Winner, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

"Part of the publisher's Sports Series, this slim novel's short chapters and more mature content make it perfect for older reluctant readers. Its no-frills story is fast-moving and touches on many teen issues, while promoting a positive message of independent thinking and being a team player."



"An excellent read and should be a great addition to any library shelf."



"realistic dialogue and court action to satisfy the most sports-minded readers"

Quill & Quire

"A great hi-lo interest book, Hustle is part of Lorimer's "Sports Stories" series written to entice students to read. Author Johnny Boateng does a great job of making the book exciting on many levels, and the book is full of adventures . . . The basketball theme is strong and carries the plot well. Boateng obviously knows the game and effectively conveys the action and tension on the court . . . The characters are believable and easy to relate to."


CM Magazine

"Boateng knows his basketball lingo. Sports fans will appreciate this feel-good story about not giving in to peer pressure.... As with any of the books in the [Lorimer Sports Stories series, the language is accessible and the story interesting--a plus for struggling readers."


Resource Links

Other titles by Johnny Boateng