The Hoopster Trilogy by Alan Lawrence Sitomer is my July YA Pick (and it is definitely YA and should be read by only middle schoolers and older, not upper elementary kids, due to violence). This trilogy is made up of three books: The Hoopster, Hip-Hop High School and Homeboyz, all books which focus on different siblings in the Anderson family. In The Hoopster, Andre, the oldest, has things all together. He is a basketball legend in his neighborhood and has an internship in journalism. When an article he writes receives critical acclaim, he becomes a victim of racial violence and must overcome both his injuries and his fear and bitterness to reclaim his life. In Hip-Hop High School, Andre's little sister Theresa, or T.A., has matured into a young woman who prioritizes her education and works hard, but is still excited by the rhythm of high school. She finds a friend who supports her in pursuing her goals but has to help him when tragedy strikes. In Homeboyz, the smartest of the Anderson kids, Teddy, a true genius, coolly and methodically plots revenge when his youngest sister is killed in gang-related shooting. He has to decide if a young boy he meets, who is on the road to a short life in a street gang, is worth choosing another path. All three of these books are vivid and dramatic looks into obstacles and strengths of young people trying to find their way in a rough world.