Sooley - John Grisham


By John Grisham

  • Release Date: 2021-04-27
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 2,539 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dreams—and even bigger challenges off the court.

“Hard to put down ... the pages turn quickly ... building to a climax that won’t leave readers doubting whether this is a John Grisham novel.” —Associated Press

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.

Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.

During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.

Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it’s just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn’t immediately needed.

But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he’s dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team los­ing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.

But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?

Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham’s unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.


  • A turn for the worst…

    By Spy Life
    I was on the verge of giving this book at the minimum 4 stars but then “it” happened late in the book that was so completely random and out of character that it threw me off. Disappointing to think such a good fun book all of sudden took a turn for the worse.
  • Enjoyed

    By Eag 9 08
    Good Read, Big Screen worthy.
  • His worst book yet

    By MilaJason
    Very boring. I understand he no longer writes his own books. I hear he hires people to write for him. It shows. Start writing your own books again. They are great when you write them.
  • Sooley

    By Losing the inches.
    As a sports lover, I was enthusiastic about the book and loved the way it ended.
  • Grisham does it again

    By Pinevillerd1
    Always good and quick reads. I have polished my shooting skills.
  • Great story!

    By CarolynShoey
    I loved this book! I became so enthralled with the characters that I cried for the last 50 pages! I love John Grisham books and this is one of his best!
  • Great read!

    By Dat man72
    Excellent storytelling. Great story about a young man and his connection to basketball, friendship and family. Great character development. Good pace of action, and gut retching violence is South Sudan. I recommend this book.
  • Sooley

    By Anonymus__🤗love 25
    The book was heartwarming and I loved it. I have high recommendations for this book. Consider buying it. Even though it was a little hard because there were a lot of terms related to basketball that a lot of John Grisham and not basketball fans wouldn’t understand, it only made the read even more memorable and fun. The storyline of how Sooley became a national hero was amazing. I can’t believe the tragic ending. I can’t believe the amazing hero died because of a quite mischievous girl who gave him pills. So sad. Sooley probably didn’t have knowledge of any drugs anyway, but like, it just fits the story plot even better. Whatever. Great read overall. High recommendations. Just buy it already.
  • Sooleyman

    By Jayhawk Fan #1
    Wonderful story for any basketball fan. I couldn’t put it down. I also learned a lot about the refugee situation in South Sudan. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
  • Must read

    By Jq smooth
    Definetly was hooked after the first sentence. I’m glad too see love being shown to HBCUS for a change.