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Sooley - John Grisham


By John Grisham

  • Release Date: 2021-04-27
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 289 Ratings


New York Times bestselling author 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.

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.


  • Sad

    By Pharrball
    The ending was good but could have been just as good with a reunion instead of a statue unveiling. I loved the book until the death of the beloved main character. I was in shock and dismayed when that scene took place. There is enough death in real life and I do not have to pay 15$ to read the obituaries. Mr. Grissom should write for Gray’s Anatomy.
  • WTFO?

    By tmeyer
    Basketball? Really? How low can one sink????
  • Sooley

    By coop ollie
    This book Sooley is by far one of the best I have read brought tears to my eyes and hope loved the way this young man was given chances and was so humble and caring loved this book
  • 🏀🏀🏀

    By skookumJam
    Best book I’ve read in a long time! Skookum Jam
  • Sooley

    By JPB 9871
    If you love basketball, you’ll love this book. If not, it will be a bit of a slog. The basketball action is described in great detail.
  • What a read!

    By worldclasstkd
    The ending caught me off guard. A wonderful, joyful and sad story.
  • Definitely a page turner!

    By tomdette
    Be sure to have a box of tissues handy!
  • Score another for Grisham

    By Cap10jr
    A wonderful tale about dreams fulfilled and leading to a beautiful ending. Highly enjoyable.
  • The story friendship and perseverance, but mostly, family ❤️

    By frenchy0674
    An enriching story of hope, love, strength, and fortitude. Never give up, keep hold of your heart, and go forward. A wonderful story told in full circle.
  • Best Ever

    By ChipSanders
    As a lover of Grisham’s legal thrillers, I was prepared to be disappointed since this novel was totally different…but was I ever wrong! Sooley is the most fascinating sports related book I have ever read, and Grisham’s knowledge of the recruiting, the coaching, the strategies, the emotion, the promotion, and the players in the game of basketball is astounding, He made me feel like I was right there in that refugee camp, and later on the bench in that Final Four game. The gut wrenching ending brought tears which turned to tears of joy as Sooley’s family was extricated from the despicable conditions of that African refugee Camp to a wonderful life in Durham, NC. Thanks, John for your best ever.