Alphin, Elaine Marie. The Perfect Shot. Minneapolis: CarolRhoda, 2005.
This is a great book for lovers of mystery and suspense.
The previous year, Brian's girlfriend, Amanda, her brother, and mother are all shot to death in their garage. At the time, Brian is in the cul-de-sac playing basketball but didn't see anything. Now, a year later, her father is on trial for their murder, but Brian isn't convinced he did it as he recalls something that did happen that day that might prove his innocence.
Meanwhile, Brian is in the middle of a basketball season. His friend Julius is arrested and roughed up by the cops after getting lost in a white neighborhood. All of the basketball players are also paired up with people in history class to learn about certain events in history and give a presentation on whether or not we have learned from history. Brian has to work with dorky Todd who ends up being a good partner. They have to research a trial of a man wrongfully convicted of murder and report on whether or not we have learned from faulty police investigation and prosectution.
It is somewhat hard to believe that all of these events happen to be be occurring at the same time-- the trial, the assignment, and Julius' wrongful arrest. Still, without all of these coincidences, there wouldn't be a novel! I recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys suspense and mystery stories. This is a long book so a casual reader would probably not want to read it. Also, while there is basketball theme, this isn't a basketball novel, so fans of sports fiction may not like it. There isn't much court action going on here.