Sooley by John Grisham

Sooley is the first John Grisham book I have read in a long time. I actually listened to it on Audible but that counts too:). I was on a long drive with my mother, who is a big Grisham fan, and she suggested we listen to it. I didn’t have any idea what it was even about but I am very glad we did it! Definitely not a Pelican Brief or The Firm kind of book but Grisham shows he can write more than legal fiction in this book. I know he has written several others outside that genre but this was my first.

Sooley is about a 17 year old South Sudanese boy who gets picked for a South Sudan basketball team that will travel to the US for showcase games and a tournament. While here Sooley’s village is attacked and his father is killed. His mother and brothers escape to refugee camp in Uganda but he cannot go home. He stays and pursues basketball while always having his family on his mind. Grisham did a great job combining the terrible situation in South Sudan and refugee camps with the entertaining but pressure-filled basketball machine. This is story with exceptionally developed characters and is about dreams, family, fame, and heartbreak. It is definitely worth a read – to both learn about South Sudan and enjoy some basketball, but be prepared for some heartbreak along the way!

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