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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

Slam! by Walter Dean Myers has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Few other black kids attend Latimer High, but Greg "Slam" Harris knows he can prove himself on the basketball court at his new school. The trouble is, the principal and teachers are getting on his case about his grades, and the coach won't start him because he doesn't like his attitude. Grades are the least of Slam's concerns, though; he's trying to woo Mtisha, help a friend who is dealing drugs and most of all, get the attention of NBA scouts. As Slam tries to make sense of his life, the assistant coach (Goldy) helps him realize that he must manage his behavior and attitude both on and off the court if he wants to succeed.

Christian Beliefs

Mtisha's mom and Slam's grandmother know each other because both attend Pilgrim Baptist. Goldy says that if you get the chance to do what you love in life, that's a special gift from God.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Slam's mom shows a lot of positive concern for her son and worries about his poor grades; she's the responsible, if not dominant, parent. Slam's dad drinks a lot when he's out of work, and he feels his manhood is being challenged when his wife encourages Slam to let another man tutor him. Slam's coach, principal and teachers give him a hard time, often because he's quick to fight back. Goldy frequently offers fatherly advice, urging Slam to demonstrate good character and think about his future by being "in the game" even off the court.


The word p---ed appears twice.


Slam makes out with a girl he's just met. He later admits he's thinking about having sex with Mtisha and hopes she's thinking about it, too. (In the end, we get the impression that she is.) Slam worries about "safe" sex and unexpected pregnancy. He briefly mentions someone who may have been "raped by other dudes" in prison. He also notes that a guy at a party is gay but no one messes with him because he's on the football team.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

13 and up


Walter Dean Myers






Record Label





On Video

Year Published



Coretta Scott King Award, 1997; ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 1997


We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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