It was a little after ten on a Sunday night in October.

I had a book report due tomorrow.  I had put it off for weeks, they said I was the epitome of procrastination.

Miss Monzillo, my teacher at Holy Name had warned us when she assigned the report that we should get right on it, not to wait until the last minute.  But like usual, I ignored her; besides, I had other things to think about like playing basketball in the boys schoolyard, hanging out with my friends on the corner and of the course the girls we just met in school.


I went into my bedroom and sat on my bed looking out the window that faced ninth avenue.  I was screwed because I had not even started writing anything.  It seemed like an easy assignment.  Monzillo wanted two pages. How was I going to write two pages on a book that I didn’t even read?

Getting a hold of a book was the easy part even though I hated books.  On the day Miss Monzillo assigned the report I  ran home, changed out of my school uniform and walked over to the used book store on Windsor Place. I was going to be pro-active and get off the right foot.  The owner of the store was sitting behind the counter when I walked in.

“Ya have any sports books?” I asked.

The owner of the store was a nice lady from the neighborhood.  I had walked past the store many times and every time I walked by she waved to me.

“Right over there,” she answered as she pointed towards the back of the store.

I made my way past the science fiction section, the history section and the fiction books.


As I looked down there wasn’t many sports books on the shelf.  I browsed through them rather quickly passing books on golf, football and hockey.   It wasn’t until the end of the shelf that I saw the book I wanted.  The cover was yellow.  It was a small paperback.  I would decide right there that I would do my book report on “Foul: The Connie Hawkins Story” by David Wolf.  Keep in mind that I had never read an entire book from beginning to end.  I hated to read.

After paying a dollar for the book, instead of going to the boys schoolyard I walked across the street to the girls schoolyard.   I took a seat on the black steel steps that I had walked up and down many times going in and going out of school.

I sat down on the bottom step and began to read.  I managed to get through the first few pages and then my friends showed up and reading time was over.  We chose up sides and played a game of double-wall.

I never did get around to reading the rest of the book.

So here I am on a Sunday night and I don’t have a book to write about.  Miss Monzillo is going to kill me tomorrow morning in school.



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7 Responses to THE BOOK REPORT

  1. jim casey says:

    I hope you eventually read the book–it’s a powerful story that’s well-written–about a truly all-time great. The Hawk was one of the best players I have ever seen–right there with the Big O, Michael and Lebron. And he got screwed out of the NBA during his prime years.

  2. jimmyvac says:

    Ever hear of Cliff Notes?

  3. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    I love to read.. I do it all the time..but, when I was in school, I had a problem turning in my book reports on time..the reading was not the issue, but I HATED writing reports! Consequently, high marks for work, U in effort all the time 😦

  4. jimmyvac says:

    I hated math and science.. was good with stats (due to sports) but liked history and English. Steve, like you always reading.. go to the library often. Just read “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “In Cold Blood”… Hawkins was screwed even though the known fixer, Jack Molinas, testified he never gave Hawkins a cent.

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