Swipe to look inside
Basketball Town

Basketball Town

Illustrated by Darnell Johnson


Basketball Town

About the Book

In an unabashed wish-fulfillment tale for the ultimate basketball fan, a kid wakes up in a fantasy town where everyone plays basketball all day long.

Maxwell loves basketball so much, he dreams about it every night—crashing the boards, splashing treys, and taking it to the rack. Then one day he wakes up . . . in Basketball Town! Everywhere he looks, everyone is hooping, and Maxwell can play anytime he wants. To get him ready for the Championship, the Mayor sends Maxwell to Skillsville, where he aces Alley-Oop Academy and the College of the Crossover, earning his dunking diploma from Phi Slamma Jamma. At the Championship, he’s thrilled to discover that his team from home is there, up against the greatest team ever assembled! With Maxwell’s team down by twenty and only five minutes to go, can Maxwell and his team work together to give themselves a chance to win? Anyone scouting for basketball- or sports-themed books for the younger set will want to grab this gem by Scott Rothman, with energetic illustrations by Darnell Johnson—a story full of fun lingo and crackling with action.

Product Details

On sale: September 12, 2023
Age: 4-8 years
Grade: Preschool - 3
Page count: 40 Pages
ISBN: 9781536219777

Author Bio

Scott Rothman is the author of Attack of the Underwear Dragon, Return of the Underwear Dragon, and Blue Bison Needs a Haircut, all illustrated by Pete Oswald; Parfait, Not Parfait!, illustrated by Avery Monsen; and Mako & Tiger: Two Not-So-Friendly Sharks, illustrated by Mika Song. Scott Rothman’s humor writing has appeared in the New Yorker, GQ, Maxim, and McSweeney’s, and he has sold screenplays to several major studios, including for the feature film Draft Day. He wrote Basketball Town when he discovered an arena-size hole in the picture-book market for his young sports-obsessed son. Scott Rothman lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.

Darnell Johnson is an illustrator and story artist. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is the illustrator of The Electric Slide and Kai by Kelly Baptist. This is his first book with Candlewick Press. Darnell Johnson lives with his wife in Atlanta.


The importance of dedication and teamwork is the ultimate takeaway of Maxwell’s stint in Basketball Town. . . readers will come away with good pointers on how to become strong athletes.
—Kirkus Reviews