I would be inclined to give this five stars, except I'm not really into basketball so those parts of the book didn't do much for me. And, indeed, the book got off to a bit of a slow start. It was worth it, though. Finley is a great kid and his friendship with Russ is extremely touching. I'm a sucker for characters who act like they are from space as a coping mechanism (seriously, it doesn't happen in stories enough for me) and though that part of the story wasn't the entire focus, it was still great. I love, most of all, that this was not a story of grimness and darkness (though, certainly, it had its moments) but one of hope and healing. A compelling read despite some small flaws.