One of the hundred books a year I read:

One of the hundred books a year I read:

John Grisham Sooley


John Grisham

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Samuel Sooleyman has a chance few 18-year-olds in South Sudan have—the chance to escape civil war and poverty. Because of his height and dedication to basketball, he is offered an opportunity to try out for a team traveling to the United States to compete against other gifted athletes and have a chance at the golden ring of college and the NBA. If he succeeds, he may have the ability to bring his parents and siblings with him, but they have to survive long enough.

This is not a typical Grisham legal thriller, so don’t read it with that expectation. The book is half about the competitiveness of college basketball where few will make it to the NBA (with lots of descriptions of games and plays, some so well done it might make you think this is a true story). The other half of the book is about the corruption and horror of the wars in South Sudan (with equally descriptive passages about escaping marauding tribal warfare and survival in overcrowded refugee camps).

This is not a light-hearted read, but it’s also not a book—or ending—that I will forget.


  1. Charlie Maull on June 27, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    The ending is a shocker. I believed in the bottom half of the book, there would be coming a big shoe that drops.
    It certainly did. It will bring you to tears.

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