For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Kenji, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he’s called off the basketball team’s varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant.
But not everyone is happy that Bijan is the man of the hour: an anonymous cyberbully sends the entire school a picture of Bijan photoshopped to look like a terrorist. His mother is horrified, and the school administration is outraged. They promise to find and punish the culprit. All Bijan wants is to pretend it never happened and move on, but the incident isn’t so easily erased. Though many of his classmates rally behind Bijan, some don’t want him or his type to be a part of their school. And Bijan’s finding out it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends . . .--from the publisher
304 pages 978-0062564047 Ages 12 -15
Shy teen Bijan Mijadi loves basketball and plays on his school's JV squad. When he's called up to the varsity squad and sinks with the winning basket, he's his school's new hero. Students congratulate him and the coach even asks Bijan to join the varsity squad for the rest of the season. Not everyone is happy to see Bijan join the team. Some people want him to fail.
When a photo of Bijan is photoshopped to make him look like a terrorist, the school administrator is outraged and vows to find the culprit and punish him or her. Some students rally together to champion Bijan, but he just wants the incident to go away. Islamophobia and hate speech does not just "go away" his mother insists. She and other parents meet and pass out flyers to rally the community. Bijan is now poster boy for a movement he wants no part of. Can't he just play basketball and crush on cute girl Elle in peace?
Play by play announcers,real-life basketball announcers Kevin and Reggie (Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller), provide narration for some of Bijan's inner thoughts and epic fails. Their tongue-in-cheek banter makes this novel special. Basketball terminology and the mention of game legends like Bill Laimbeer (legendary bad boy player fans loved to hate) make Here To Stay a smart addition to sports fiction. It's obvious that Farizan knows a thing or two about the sport.
This timely topic will resonate with readers of all backgrounds. Bijan is a character they'll fall in love with. Here To Stay will be on the top of all awards lists this season! Can you say TAYSHAS?
Highly, highly recommended grade 8-up. A MUST READ.
Recommended by: Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA
See more of her recommendations: https://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/