Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters

Author: Suzanne Slade

Published: November 10, 2020

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The true story of the high-flying Harlem Globetrotters — the team that changed basketball forever.

In this book you will find one-finger ball-spinning, rapid-fire mini-dribbling, and a ricochet head shot!

You will find skilled athletes, expert players, and electrifying performers — all rolled into one!
You will find nonstop, give-it-all-you’ve-got, out-to-win-it, sky’s-the-limit BASKETBALL!
You will find THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS, who played the most groundbreaking, breathtaking ball the world had ever seen. With rhythmic writing and dynamic illustrations, Swish! is a celebration of the greatness, goodness, and grit of this remarkable team.



“Slade has done careful, thorough research, easily engaging young readers as they learn about the Globetrotters’ groundbreaking history. Veteran illustrator Tate creates constant movement, visually underscoring the title with dynamic (sometimes impossible) perspectives and basketballs caught in stop-motion fashion as they fly across the court. . . .  From beginning to end, fans will feel connected to the dynamic style of the Globetrotters and how they influenced American history” 


“Lively text mimics the energy of the game . . . Tate’s artwork beautifully reflects the joy, talent, and athleticism through big smiles and elongated limbs. Basketball fans will enjoy this introduction to an iconic sports institution.” 

Publishers Weekly

“Tate’s dynamic digital pictures capture the players’ perseverance as they prove instrumental in integrating pro basketball and score legions of fans, and a comprehensive timeline rounds out the book. . .  this is an enthusiastic tribute to a groundbreaking team.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Slade keeps the narrative positive, emphasizing forward social progress in professional basketball, while balancing the Globetrotters’ crowd-pleasing antics with a nod to the serious strategic impulse behind it. Tate’s digital artwork matches the mood, with a smiling cast of wiry, taffy-limbed showmen whose pace never slows.”

Horn Book

“Tate’s illustrations, done digitally in his usual big-hearted-caricature style (Whoosh!, rev. 7/16, and others), are an ideal match for the subject, with the players’ tallness and thinness perfectly exaggerated, and the forever-motion of that big orange ball and its handlers spinning, twirling, and dunking on every scene.”

School Library Journal

“The players’ quick movements and the constant ball action are expertly represented by Tate’s dynamic cartoon-style spreads. VERDICT This well-researched, accessible picture book makes this story bounce off the page.”



*Junior Library Guild Selection

*2021 Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts (NCTE)

*2021 Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year list

*EPL 2020 “101 Great Books for Kids”

*2022 Texas Bluebonnet list

*2021-22 Arkansas Diamond Primary   Book Award nominee

*2023 Illinois Monarch Award nominee

*Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice  Program