The Moves Make the Man

The Moves Make the Man

by Bruce Brooks


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First time I saw Bix was at a baseball game. He was a shortstop, supreme. I didn't want to start liking this flashy cracker with a momma in a high-style black dress. But Bix got me, baby. Next thing I knew, there I was, Jerome Foxworthy, doing hoops privately in the woods and getting my moves down, when Bix showed up. I taught him all I knew— even though he wanted to play everything straight, not fake it. Because he had one game coming up where he'd need all the moves to put his life together again ...

— The Jayfox

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064470223
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/06/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 608,181
Product dimensions: 0.00(w) x 0.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 13 - 12 Years

About the Author

Bruce Brooks was born in Virginia and began writing fiction at age ten. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972 and from the University Of Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1980. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, newsletter editor, movie critic, teacher and lecturer.

Bruce Brooks has twice received the Newbery Honor, first in 1985 for Moves Make the Man, and again in 1992 for What Hearts. He is also the author of Everywhere, Midnight Hour Encores, Asylum for Nightface, Vanishing, and Throwing Smoke. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Read an Excerpt

Now, Bix Rivers has disappeared, and who do you think is going to tell his story but me? Maybe his stepfather? Man, that dude does not know Bix deep and now he never will, will he? Only thing he could say is he's probably secretly -happy Bix ran away and got out of his life, but he won't tell you even that on account of he's busy getting sympathy dumped on him all over town as the poor deserted guardian.

How about Bix's momma? Can she tell you? I reckon not-she is crazy in the hospital. And you can believe, they don't let crazies have anything sharp like a pencil, else she poke out her eye or worse. So she won't be writing any stories for a long time. But me-I have plenty of pencils, number threes all sharp and dark green enamel on the outside, and I have four black and white marble composition books. Plus I can tell you some things, like  Bix was thirteen last birthday (same as me), Bix was a shortstop (supreme), Bix gets red spots the size of a quarter on his cheekbones when angry and a splotch looks like a cardinal smack in the middle of his forehead when he is ashamed. I can tell a lot more besides, including why Bix ran away. You just listen
to me and you'll be getting the story, all you want. You don't pay any mind to all this creepy jive that is going around town and school now about how Bix was bad and crazy like his momma and deserted her when she was sick and his stepfather too. Didn't I hear that old snooty preacher at the white First Baptist saying so last Sunday, moaning about children full of sin, with everybody .in the church mooning with sympathy and staring all mushy over at the poor stepfather sitting in the third row?

I went by there totalk to that man after church, thinking to catch him all softened up and ask had he got any word of Hex.Bix But when I heard that sin-child chatter, I gave it over. Fact I almost jumped right into their high service mumbo and told them what they were about-that would have been a sight, this skinny kid black as a clarinet wailing out a licorice tune right there on the light blue carpet aisle cutting off that organ with the fake pipes just as it wheezed into one of their wavery old hymns. But it would not have done ary bit of good. When people are set to hear bad things, that is what they will hear. Listen, that is just about all white people go to church for, to have some soft old duck moan at them about all the sins ever been committed and all going to keep right on being committed so we might just as well give up on getting good, and settle for getting a nasty thrill watching the sins go on. You don't hear that kind of giving up at the colored churches around here, I can tell you. People mostly go there to sing, which is different from moaning any day.

When I came home from that church I was angry at the lies being told. Not just that they told that Bix was bad and a runaway-because there was some bad growing in Bix and he did run away and that is that. But those people did not understand worth a


That is when and why I decided to write this story of Bix Of Bix and me, mostly, I guess it has to be. I may not understand it all yet myself, but I got all summer ahead of me, and a room to myself, cool up under the eaves, because my brother Henri is off to camp. My momma wanted to send me first, but I told her I wouldn't go on account of I knew I could use the summer better writing this out. So it's Henri gets to make the wallets and lanyards and sing the national anthem while the flag is raised every morning and swim in a lake warm as blood.

It's me gets to tell the truth.

The Moves Make the Man. Copyright © by Bruce Brooks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Moves Make the Man 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Moves Make The Man was a book mostly about basketball. The main characters in the book were Jerome, Bix, and Jerome¿s mom. In the book Jerome watches a baseball game and he likes to watch the shortstop on the Seven Ups team. After the game there were two trucks that gave out food to the people that were watching the game, the players, and to the people that would just come from the neighborhood. Jerome hates baseball and he had to watch the game for his brother Maurice coaches the Poke Peters. Jerome loves to play basketball and he has his own basketball court in the middle of the woods. No one else knows where the court is. Every day Jerome would go out to play basketball and would work on moves to make him a better player then before. Jerome was hoping to go to school, so he could play for the varsity team, because he had talked to the coach about playing for his team and he showed the coach some of his moves. Jerome thinks that moves make the man and he is talking about doing tricks in basketball. When Jerome goes to the new school they won¿t let him play on the basketball team and the team is all white people. When the school year starts Jerome is put into a new school with all whites. When he goes to the school he said that the school was kind of cool to go to because he got to do a language for a class. Jerome does not like his communications teacher for he would only think of you by your body language. When Jerome¿s mom gets hurt, he is put into a home economics class, so he could cook food for his brothers. When Jerome¿s mom had came home, Jerome and his brothers still were doing all the chores around the house for she was not well. She had asked them if they were still doing the things they loved to do when she was gone. When they said ¿no¿ she had said that you guys have to at least do a hour of the thing you like to. Then Jerome had to go find a different court to play at where no one would bother him since he could not go to the court in the middle of the woods. When he found the court, it was at an old burned down school where a train would run by every so often. I say that this book is an average book to read. This book is for people that like to play sports. This book is also for people that like to play a sport, but are not good at that sport, but have the heart to become better in the sport.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is written in the main character¿s point of view. Jerome Foxworthy is the main character. Jerome will be the first black to integrate the biggest white school in Wilmington, North Carolina. This might not be an issue today but it was in the 60¿s. Braxton Rivers or Bix is the other main character. Both face similar problems but different situations. Jerome¿s mom was in an elevator accident and Bix¿s mom was crazy. It starts out in a baseball game were Jerome see¿s Bix play baseball and was amazed at his capability. Bix doesn¿t know anything about Jerome. Later they become the best of friends. Jerome has to drop one of his classes so he can take home economics. To his surprise Bix was the other boy in the class. They work on a couple assignments together and start out on the right foot. Later, they don¿t see each other for a couple of weeks. Jerome is now busy around the house and has to cook and clean. When his mom gets back from the hospital Jerome starts playing basketball again for one hour. He practices in this old court by the railroad tracks. One day while practicing the train stops and the ticket puncher starts checking out at what Jerome is doing. In that part of the book, Jerome plays one on one with this kid named Bobo. Jerome beats Bobo and wins a lantern. This is one of the best parts of the book. This really changes the story. So know that Jerome has the lantern he can go back to his old court and practice there or so he thinks. When he goes to his old court over by the woods he hears a ball bounce but didn¿t see any lights. Jerome gets closer and flashes the lantern at the figure and finds out the person playing is Bix. Overall this was a good book. This was good book because it has twists and turns. I also like how they begin the book. If you read the first chapter it gives you a clue to what¿s going to happen at the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Moves Makes The Man was an acceptable book if you like sports books. The thing I don¿t like about this book is that it takes place like around the 1940¿s. But if you do like this kind of books than this is your book. This is about a kid name Jerome who loves to play basketball and he wanted to play for his school, but since he lived so far away he had to go to a different school. In that school there wasn¿t anything but white people, no one liked him because he was black. So when he tried out for the basketball team the coach didn¿t let him because he was black. So one day his mom got hurt and she was at the hospital for a long time. So Jerome and his brothers had to take care of the house. Since Jerome had to the cooking he took cooking lessons at his school. He thought he was the only boy in his class but no there was another boy in that class and his name is Braxton Rivers or Bix. Bix was going to play basketball. So Jerome was seeing him play basketball, Bix was playing horrible. Jerome started to teach him. Jerome told him he needs to do a fake on people. Bix said no because a fake is like a lie and he didn¿t like to lie. So Jerome didn¿t bother on telling him again because he didn¿t want him to freak out again. The next day after practicing basketball they started to talk and Bix told him he has never seen his mother in years. The only person who sees her is his stepfather. When he comes home he doesn¿t even tell him how she is doing, because she is in a hospital. One day when Bix told his stepfather that he wanted to see his mom he said no. So Bix challenged him on a game one on one. If Bix won he could see his mother, if he didn¿t than he wouldn¿t bother him again and he agreed. But what do you think did Bix see his mom or did he lose and not ask about her again?
pjacx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Powerful story about friendship and family and how each can make us heroically strong or frighteningly fragile.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Moves Make the Man is a novel about two boys with their own family situations. The problem is one is white, the other black. Today this may not seem like such a controversial matter , but in 1963, it was rare to see two friends like this since desegregation was still taking time. Anyway, this book teaches many life lessons. To help others in need, and to accept others, no matter how different they are- This book is perfect for all ages, seeing that it is not too serious and that it has just the right amount of humor in it to keep you flipping the pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This review is written from the voice of the main character of The Moves Make the Man. Hey, I¿m Jay Fox. What¿s up? I play basketball. I taught Bix, my best friend how to play, too. It took us two weeks. Bix took everything slow and turned out a great basketball player. Almost as good as me. Bix played baseball before he ran away and met me. He used to live in a nice house with his mom. But, one day at a baseball game, his mom embarrassed him in front of everyone, and he had enough. I can relate to Bix because for a few months my mom was in the hospital. I had to transfer to an all white school. I was the only black kid there . When I got there I saw Bix and I was so surprised. Then, I taught him how to play ball, and he was good. We played basketball all the time, and became great friends. You should read this book, because you can learn new things about friendship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Through excellent writing and increasing intensity, Bruce Brooks creates more than just a story about race relations during the height of desegregation. And although he ultimately leaves the wereabouts of one of his main characters 'hanging in the balance,' he carefully uses the game of basketball to show what it means to find and face truth, while forming an amazing friendship in the process. Great story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THis is the best book I have read in years and i can relate to it!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. A wonderfly told story of a kid's love of basketball, two boy's friendship, and the struggles that come are way in life. A question 4 other people who read this book.... My copy of the book ended it supposed to be that way? if so, why?? or is my right? Eager to hear the answer....
Guest More than 1 year ago
DP_Moreno54 More than 1 year ago
Although targeted at a young audience. I as a 30 yr. old man was left with a greater understanding about topics addressed such as integration and civil rights. The main characters Jerome Foxworthy (Jayfox) and Braxton Rivers (Bix) were two boys from different worlds that collided when Jayfox was forced to integrate into an all white school. While Jayfox was hesitant to build a friendship with Bix they later sought refuge in a ball court in the woods where Jayfox taught Bix all the fundamentals he would need to master the game. They used Basketball as their coping mechanism to deal with the absence of Bix's mother and the recovery of Jayfox's mother (after her accident). Jayfox incorporated trick moves with his traditional basketball. Bix initially felt that those types of moves were lies, and he always told the truth. Once Bix resorted to using trick moves to survive a game with his stepfather, he enjoyed using the "fakes" and other non-traditional moves to dodge all obstacles on the court and in his life. Which eventually lead to him running away to DC. I could really identify with Jerome's love and passion for the game. His steadfast determination to improve his skill level and not mess around with games such as H-O-R-S-E made me reflect on my adolescence, as I too was that type of ball player. I also could appreciate the independence this character was given and his ability to thrive in difficult situations.