Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 192
Themes: compromise, diversity, teamwork, loyalty, competition, acceptance, acting, coaching
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 14/03/2017
Bookmark and Share
When the Gladiators basketball team's nasty coach finally gets turfed midseason, things couldn't possibly get worse. The team hasn't won a game yet, and morale is at rock bottom. Sameer, who announces the games and keeps score, and Vijay, the team mascot, have their hands full keeping the team's spirits up. When they get promoted to assistant coach and manager, can they help a small, unathletic, Shakespeare-quoting drama teacher coach the team to victory, or at least to dignity? Or will the courtside drama eclipse even the school play?

School Library Connection - June 20, 2017
"This is a solid sports fiction titles for middle grades with a bit of Shakespeare added for spice…Many sports fiction fans will find that this journey of a losing team provides appealing characters, a realistic plot, and plenty of events that take place on the court. The bonus is the depiction of the three types of coaches; competent, clueless, and angry. This title fills a niche for middle school libraries looking to broaden their sports offerings."
Quill & Quire - April 1, 2017
"Kings of the Court is well paced, and its characters are realistically rendered with depth...Hughes creates a cast of characters from various backgrounds, but they're not highlighted as ethnic characters, they're just people in the story...Readers don't need to be basketball fans to appreciate Kings of the Court; the book should appeal to anyone who likes a good story about overcoming challenges."
Resource Links - February 15, 2017
"An unlikely blend of personalities and characters working together promotes the concept of tolerance and discovery of how two very different fields can cooperate to make positive change. Recommended for independent reading and literature circles and as a springboard for class or group discussion."
CM Magazine - February 3, 2017
"Kings of the Court has great pacing...Sameer is an extremely likable character and an exemplary lead...The juxtaposition of theatre and sports creates an interesting dynamic that sets Kings of the Court apart from typical sports-themed novels. Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - January 17, 2017
"Exuberantly multiracial and multiethnic...a good-hearted story of gladiators, kings, and kids with dreams."


SYRCA Diamond Willow  | 2018 | Short-listed

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience. Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Classroom Projects

Readers Theater Scripts

Teacher Guides

Resource Guides

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels

Reaching Reluctant Readers:

Best Books for Struggling Readers


Reading Strategies