I Got Next

$17.99 USD

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It’s game day! In this action-packed picture book from Daria Peoples-Riley, the creator of the acclaimed This Is It, a young basketball player gets hyped for a neighborhood pickup game. I Got Next encourages hard work and determination and celebrates imagination and the joy of basketball. Fans of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes will devour this exuberant book.

Time to play! Put your game face on, play to win. Fight, all the way to the end.

A young basketball player practices on the playground, preparing for an upcoming pickup game while his shadow urges him to play hard and leave his heart on the court. As the boy dribbles and weaves, shoots and scores, his shadow gives him the encouragement he needs to overcome pregame jitters and join the competition.

In the companion to her debut picture book This is It, author-illustrator Daria Peoples-Riley praises hard work, dedication, and the love of the game. With vibrant artwork and a lively, rhythmic text, I Got Next is an exceptional read-aloud. The perfect choice for fans of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes; Jabari Jumps, by Gaia Cornwall; and Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña. 


Daria Peoples-Riley grew up in Paso Robles, California, and is the daughter of a children’s librarian. In a household of rich cultures—American Indian, Cuban, French, black, and Irish—Daria and her two younger brothers grew up on gumbo and red beans and rice. She has a degree in English from UC Santa Barbara. She earned her master’s in education from Regis University and worked for ten years as a middle school teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her basketball-coach husband, ballerina daughter, and a basketball-playing son. Her first book was This is It.

“The inner-city neighborhood is lovingly portrayed, with soft watercolors creating swaths of concrete and sky, spare natural elements, and the black of the broken chain-link fence echoed in the black of the shadow that gets the boy psyched. A vibrant mural on the endpapers pays tribute to black leaders and community. Important, beautiful, and full of heart.” -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In this visually arresting offering, a Black boy finds courage to join other children playing in an urban landscape. Illustrations form dynamic scenes that blend with the story’s rhythmic text. . . . [A] tale of perseverance and community.” -Booklist

“Peoples-Riley’s art is witty and superb . . . The sharp-edged, mixed-gender group of playground kids . . . are a highly individual, deeply plausible collection. Use this to demonstrate how stories often have deeper meanings and to elicit discussion, but also just to revel in the city life made beautiful.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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