Book Reviews

Review: Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Being someone who knows practically nothing about basketball, I’m surprised with how much I love Dragon Hoops. After finishing, I have already recommended it to two people because it appeals to sports lovers, stories about passion, and underdogs.


Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Dragon Hoops is an all around win. It’s a story about basketball, but not just about the game, but also the players. It’s about their stories, their histories, their dreams. All the steps we take that change the course of our lives. The drawing style is fabulous, whether it be the fast paced action shots, or the character sketches. It’s both educational and inspiring. Talking about racism and the history of basketball, Dragon Hoops is a story driven by characters.

Basketball is, like most sports, one of those situations where you can be the best player, but you can still not win. I love how comprehensive Dragon Hoops is, how it talks about all these facets of basketball and what the sport requires. At the same time, Dragon Hoops talks about our efforts to balance passion with work with family. Yang comes alive in the story as a character, not just a storyteller. Pick up Dragon Hoops whether you love basketball because it’s such a fantastic story driven by stories and people.

Find Dragon Hoops on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite sport?

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