Black and White

Black and White

by Paul Volponi


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 18


Marcus and Eddie are best friends who found the strength to break through the racial barrier. Marcus is black; Eddie is white. Stars of their school basketball team, they are true leaders who look past the stereotypes and come out on top. They are inseparable, watching each other's backs, both on and off the basketball court. But one night—and one wrong decision—will change their lives forever. Will their mistake cost them their friendship . . . and their future?

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

An ALA Quick Pick “Top Ten”

IRA Children’s Book Award (Young Adult)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142406922
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 11/02/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 52,128
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.31(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile: HL710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Paul Volponi is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Black & White. From 1992 to 1998, he taught adolescents on Rikers Island in New York City to read and write. Mr. Volponi worked at a day treatment center like Daytop teaching students and helping them prepare for the GED. Mr. Volponi lives in New York City.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Using authentic voices that will draw in both strong and reluctant readers, Volponi writes a taut novel, avoiding didactism and deftly balancing the drama and passion on the basketball court with each boy’s private terror and anguish." —Booklist, starred review

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Black and White 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
JakeBoone More than 1 year ago
After I first picked up Pail Valponi’s Black and White, and read the first chapter, I knew I had discovered the book for me. This book had captured my full attention, and I finished it in a quick period of time, mainly because I found it very difficult to set down. Black and White was an easy read, and contains a very interesting story. The main focus of the story was about friendship, which I did not realize until reaching the opposite cover. I had thought that the book would be mostly about basketball. I feel as if I have learned a lot about friendship just by reading this book, and I will use what I have learned to benefit me in life and help me with all the relationships I have with people in the future. I am very passionate about basketball, which is why I selected this book. My passion for the sport allowed me to connect to the main characters. The book is very dramatic, and also very suspenseful. These are two characteristics that I seek when I want to read a book. The acts of crime committed in the story definitely boosted the suspense in Black and White and the conflicts caused between the two main characters due to the crime added a lot to the drama factor. The fashion that Pail Volponi used to organize this story was very interesting. He alternated the chapters so that every other chapter would be from a different characters perspective, either black, or white. This allowed me to understand each character’s feeling and situation much more clearly and overall made it a much better read. This story certainly deserves four stars, for it is very good. It would receive a fifth from me if there was more basketball incorporated into the story line. Overall Black and White is a great read and I am truly glad that I had found it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my personal opinion, I really enjoyed reading this book. This book is an easy read that I would recommend to males or females. Black and White are two boys going through tough times, reguarding their parents, school, friends, basketball, drugs, and their own brotherly relationship. In this book, they fall out of place of who they really are, they discover the unknown and they become two seperate people. Black and White was an outstanding book to read.
AuOr611 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was a good book and never got boring. when you get into the book it makes you want to read more.
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great story, and not just for adolescent males although they will enjoy it. Details how easy it is for good kids to end up in bad situations and how it affects friendships and family. Well written.
meb911 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read a book called "Black and White" by Paul Volponi and i think it was the best basketball and football book that i have ever read. This book is about two blood like best friends and that they were so close to each other. One was black and the other was white. Marcus Brown and Eddie Russo were known as black and white outside their families. They used to play basketball and they also used to play football at their high school in Long Island City. they used to rob people so they could take money or something of value from them but one night something goes wrong and they make a huge mistake and now one of them must pay for what they have done. i think that this book represents Friendship and about how Marcus and Eddie stick together at all times, good times and bad times. i recommend this book to all the people who love basketball as well as football and i think that more people should read this book because of the theme, friendship and because its about everyday life.
cdurling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Each capter is called Black or White. Marcus and Eddie are friends on the basketball team. They are both on welfare and can't afford their senior dues, new sneakers, etc. They decide to pull some robberies with the gun from Eddie's grandfather. They got caught and Marcus the black student was identified by the bus driver they shot. Marcus gets blamed and now Eddie has to make decisions that could affect his basketball career. Will he make the right one?
aperrigo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Story was okay, but the whole premise was so stupid! Two best friends (Black and White) want some extra cash, so they start doing stick-ups. No masks--just two kids, one white, one black--who, by the way are the local high school basketball stars, with a future in college/pro ball on the line. I don't think so!
kpickett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marcus and Eddie were best friends. They were together all time, even when they weren't on the baskeball team they both love. They were so close everyone called them Black and White. One day they decided to hold up a man at gun point to buy a new pair of sneakers when the gun went off. The book tells the two different stories of a white male in the justice system and black male. Sparks interesting discussion and is good for relucant readers.
shannonseglin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
2 high school basketball stars and best friends are called black and white. They commit a crime together and only the black kid gets got.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Volponi’s novel tells the story of Marcus, who is Black, and Eddie, who is White. They are also lifelong best friends, high school seniors, and stars of their high school basketball team—each one destined for fame and glory. Until they decide they need to engage in petty theft in order to afford sneakers, senior dues, prom fees, and other “incidental” expenses, which turn out to be not so negligible for working class students growing up in New York City. Inevitably, one of their crimes goes wrong and a man is shot. Marcus is arrested and shoulders the blame for the crime, creating tension with his best friend, his family, school administration, and the other members of the basketball team. Narrated from the alternating perspectives of Marcus and Eddie, the novel examines issues of friendship, race, ambition, guilt, and loyalty. While these themes might sound somewhat heavy for a Young Adult novel, Volponi handles them well, telling the story with a matter-of-face realism. And although the symbolism of the co-protagonists’ nicknames is rather heavy-handed, the characters themselves are genuine, and their plight is all too believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
definitely a book that I could not put down. I may even read it again. I don’t know of anyone that would not like this book. So read it. I’m sure that you will enjoy it just as much as I have
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Black and White by Paul Volponi takes place in Long Island, New York at Long Island City High School. This fiction book teaches how not to discriminate based on race. In the book two best friends, Marcus and Eddie are stuck in a situation. They’re both huge stars on their high school basketball team and they’re craving the new sneakers that are coming out. They can’t be the only one on the team without them. On top of that school fees are due. They find a way to get the extra money but they come across a problem in the process. I like that the book gives actual detail about how life is living in Long Island, New York as a teenager. It tells how mostly Blacks and Hispanics are the ones that are in prison. You will rarely find someone white. I didn’t like that the book didn’t have much detail. It had very short wording and it didn’t describe thing as well as it should have. The writer uses lots of diction in the book. For different characters, there would be different choices of words to use, to create the tone of the book. Overall, this book was a joy to read and I would recommend it to any friend. With our society today and the world that we live in, this book would suit just fine.
KyleMG More than 1 year ago
I read Black and White by Paul Volponi for my summer reading book this year. This was one of my all time favorite books I have ever read. There were many things that I liked and found very interesting while reading this book. The thing that I like the most that stuck out from the rest was that each chapter the narrator changed between the main characters Marcus and Eddie. This helped me understand the book more because I had different perspectives of the story from each main character. I also like how this book was based around basketball and teamwork. I gave this book four out of five stars because overall it was an excellent book but there were some parts that were hard to understand, but after re-reading the confusing parts I understood the book a lot more. There were many parts in the book where I could not set the book down becuase my eyes were glued to the pages. Some of my favorite parts were when Marcus and Eddie were pulling the stickups because it was very suspensful. I would recommend this book to all students in highschool. I loved how I could relate the story with the two bestfriends to my life with my best friend, and I bet a lot of students in highschool could do the same. I really hope that there is a second book after this one because I would love to get my hands on it and read it. I had a fun time reading this book and so will you.
schsreader0 More than 1 year ago
There are two main characters in this book; their names are Eddy and Marcus. They played basketball together and they called them black and white, which is also the name of the book. They called them this because Marcus was a black boy and Eddy was a White boy; these two boys looked past the racial barrier between them. They live in a medium size town. They were really good at Basketball because they got full scholarships to play basketball in college. They then screw up. I would recommend this book. It is a really good book.
Klimasz1510 More than 1 year ago
In my personal opinion, I thought Black and White was a very intriguing book. It kept me interested and made me eager to finish the book. It is about two teenagers, one is black and the other is white, who are very talented at playing basketball and from the looks of it is that they both will have successful careers in basketball later in life. But Marcus and Eddie decide to rob people and one of them gets himself into some deep trouble. It will end up changing his life forever. During the whole book, each chapter is written in a different perspective every time. It starts out with Marcus, the black kid, and then to Eddie, the white kid, and switches off every other chapter from there. They each talk about their personal lives and what they do when they are not around each other, which is very rare because they are usually always with each other. Marcus likes to hang out with Eddie’s sister, Rose, because he has feelings for her and so does she. Nobody knows about them two being together except Eddie. Eddie is in a relationship with a cheerleader at school and cares a lot about his sister. They both said they would have each other’s back in any situation but when a situation actually does occur, one of them turns his back on the other. True friends would stand up for each other in any situation whether it is a small fight or a robbery like what happened in this story. I feel this book shows how two best friends can become split up after a situation like this occurs. They become two separate people. The book is also a good example for younger kids and to teach them a lesson not to do anything stupid like this to mess up their lives like Black and White did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book dealt with friendship, the color of your skin, and how mistakes can ruin your future. This book was okay. I'd thought of it in many ways, especially in a racial way, but overal it was an okay book.
AnGiE_LOL_ More than 1 year ago
Black and white Black and white is an awesome book that talks about two young kids who are the best of friends. Through everything it’s black and white till the end, both sharing the same passion for basketball, the boy’s works hard to get to the top. To them being popular and having it all is important and their willing to do just about anything to get what they want. But when trouble comes around its just black {Marcus} Marcus gets caught being at the wrong place at the wrong time. When pulling a robbery with Eddie accidently Eddie pulls the trigger and shoots the man they were attacking. Marcus and Eddie take off running not knowing what to do being frightened to death that they might have killed a guy. They make the choice to stay low. To forget everything that happened but when Marcus gets locked up. Eddie doesn’t take the blame for anything and just stays put. While Marcus is taking the blame for everything Eddie takes a scholarship he was offered. When Marcus gets out nothing is the same to him and he starts to think is Eddie really his friend. Black and white is an awesome book based on a true story. The kids soon find out they didn’t kill anyone. And realize that almost taking someone life over sneakers isn’t worth it at all.
studmuffin21 More than 1 year ago
Black and White By: Paul Volponi By: Branden Castro I loved this book. This is probably one of my favorite books. It combined drama and basketball one of my passions. While I was reading I felt like I was actually in the story. The book is about a white kid named Eddie and a black kid named Marcus. They are star basketball players of their highschool, they are kinda poor so they both decide to rob somebody. It is very sad because they are like brothers but after they get caught for the robbery, they separate. They lose their connection and their families are no longer close. This book should be a lesson for kids. Don¿t make dumb decesions that you will soon regret in your life.
DHS-KIRK- More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, the author did a good job on making you feel like you were in the story. Also the story was really realistic and not some dull highschool story showing things that you'll never fing to happen in highschool. The author also kept the story on topic interesting and grabed you into the book every chapter.When i read it i couldn't put it down. Great book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Black & White by Paul Volponi is a story about two interracial friends that are star basketball players on their high school team. The main characters are Marcus and Eddie. Marcus is black, and Eddie is white. Both are poor teenagers trying to make money for basketball gear. The teenagers start to rob people for money, but one night Marcus makes a bad decision with a gun. The story takes place in Long Island, around 2006. This story shows how two best friends trust each other through rough times. A great story for young teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Black and White by Paul Volponi is a great book for high school students everywhere. It's very down to earth, and shows consequences and choices similar to what students may face today such as stress, breaking the law ect. Volponi does great at describing thoughs experiences by going off of what he has seen and maybe done. I really like it. I love at how he shows that if you do bad things, it will catch up to you. If kids read this book, it can show what some of the consequences are and prevent them from putting their self in a position to fail. I love at how straight forward he is, however, to me some things I could see coming.
NBRG More than 1 year ago
Most books are indicated for certain types of interested people. well this book is for EVERYONE. Black and White is simply the name given to 2 young men that became the best of friends, despite the fact that they were different races. Black (Marcus) and White (Eddy) are the perfect example to show to everyone that skin color is merely a COLOR. It should not prevent us from acheiving great things with different races. This book also shows how powerful a friendship can become. No matter what the situation is, or how enourmous a conflict can get, friendship always overcomes it. But we can't forget what also held these two men together, their passion for basketball. To relieve stress and to simply have a good time, a sport can really be handy. This story is an incredible story. I love to read, and i've read a variety of books, but none can compare to BLACK AND WHITE. Its inspirational, and highly recommended to everyone that has the opportunity to read it. I guarantee you won't regret taking one or two hours to read this marvaleous book. Paul Volponi must be extremely proud to have written such a book. I thank him for publishing this book.
DemetriusJ More than 1 year ago
The book, Black and White was one of the best books I have read so far. It has drama and a little bit of suspense in some parts of the book. One reason I like it because it was because it was fast pace and the time goes by real fast in the book. I would recommend this book to basketball lovers and sports fans just in general because of the fast pace action during the game seen in parts of the book when they have a game against a tough team, and you hope they win the game. I would also recommend it to teens as well. Once you start reading it you won't want to put it down because once you start you want to keep reading to find out what happens next to the two best friends, Marcus and Eddie also known as Black and white in the book.