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Children's Fiction Basketball

Personal Best

by (author) Sylvia Gunnery

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 2011
Basketball, General, General
Recommended Age
9 to 13
Recommended Grade
4 to 8
Recommended Reading age
7 to 10
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2005
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


It should be the best week of Jay's life: he's attending a Basketball Nova Scotia Summer Camp and rooming in a real university dorm with his best friend, Mike. But then Mike's older brother, Chad, turns out to be less than the coach Jay expected and the brother Mike had always known. Luckily for Jay, a new teammate and friend has figured out how to do what Chad can't: bring out the best in people. Personal Best is the exciting and moving sequel to Sylvia Gunnery's Out of Bounds. [Fry Reading Level - 3.5

About the author

Sylvia Gunnery is the author of nearly a dozen books for teens and younger readers. A retired teacher, she has been inspired by her students to create authentic and engaging stories. Out of Bounds was a Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection and was nominated for the Hackmatack Award. Her most recent novel is Emily For Real. Sylvia gives writing workshops in her home province of Nova Scotia and across Canada, encouraging young writers to find their own voices and tell their own stories.

Sylvia Gunnery's profile page

Editorial Reviews

What could be more exciting than to be a part of a basketball camp with a bunch of other boys who love the same sport? This is a bright spot too, since Jay, and his family, is forced to live with his grandfather since his family lost their house in a fire. Jay is all excited to be part of the Acadia University Basketball camp in Nova Scotia. He gets to stay in an actual college dorm and be away from home for a whole week. What makes it even better is the fact that his best friend Mike is going to the same camp.
What starts out as probably the most thrilling thing that has ever happened in Jay's life, takes a horrible turn. Mike's older brother, Chad, who is supposed to be the boy's coach and mentor, is not at all what a mentor should be. It will take some work on the part of the boys to make it through a tough week.
Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Chad used to seem like such a great guy. It takes the boys to make a difference in Chad's life.
Personal Best is an exciting continuation of the story which was first introduced in Sylvia Gunnery's book Out of Bounds. I am anxiously waiting to see if Ms. Gunnery decides to continue Jay's story in another book.
Briane Platch
Midwest Book Review, December 2007

Midwest Book Review

"This is a great summer story..."

Canadian Review of Materials

"Personal Best is a thrilling sequel to Out of Bounds. This basketball story, part of the Sport Stories series, is fast-paced and just the thing to hook reluctant readers."

The Chronicle Herald

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