Carl Deuker's Official Website


*"A clever blend of family conflict, superstition, and exciting sports action." --School Library Journal (starred review).
"A rites-of-passage portrait with an unusual twist."--Booklist
An "intriguing first novel. . . young readers will rejoice."--Horn Book
"A rare sports novel with complex plot and characterizations as well as gripping game play."--Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

South Carolina Young Adult Book of the Year Winner
ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults-- 1967-1992
ALA Best Book for Reluctant Readers

Text and images can go here.

On the Devil's Court--I've included some photos from the setting of the book. There are also book trailers made by students. Thank you!

The greatest end to an NCAA game. Jimmy Valvano and the upset of Houston.

Ballard Locks--Joe visits the locks when he's down in the dumps.

Basketball in Ballard

Lakeside School, the model for Joe's school in On the Devil's Court

Fishermen's Terminal. This is where Joe sees the near serious accident in ON THE DEVIL'S COURT.

The old community center where Joe Faust practices alone. I'm not sure this is the building, but perhaps it is. When I saw it, the rafters were so low you couldn't have any loft on a long shot.


My heart was racing. I heard a clap of thunder and raindrops pounded on the metal roof. The gym grew darker and a strange mist seemed to fill it. An eerie thought came to me: the mist somehow held the devil. I didn't want to fall under its spell so I dribbled once and took a jump shot. It was so perfect that the spin on the ball carried it right back into my hands. I shot again and back the ball came. A third . . . then a fourth . . . I knew it couldn't be just me shooting . . . With each shot the mist thickened . . . A seventh, and eighth . . . It was an incredible feeling, to be able to do it all so effortlessly. I think that's why I made the vow.


In a new town for his last year of high school, seventeen-year-old Joe Faust is determined not to spend it as his ambitious father would have him--in a private school. Instead, he hopes to make this year his best on the basketball court, playing on the city's strongest public school team. But, as it happens, Joe's senior year turns out be entirely different from what he had expected. He attends a school he despises and watches his skill on the basketball court deteriorate until he can't even make a decent pass or easy lay-in. In desperation--he entangles himself in a situation so fantastic he can't tell if it's real or imagined--a dilemma set in motion one stormy afternoon in an abandoned gym when a series of miracle shots prompts Joe to strike a bold, brash, and utterly terrifying bargain.

For more information, click a link below.

Deception on and off the field. A football story, and much more. Copy and paste this link to see a study of Payback Time by I.G. (password is: ms.baditoi)
Young Adult Fiction
Bigger, Faster, Stronger--that's what Mick Johnson needs to become if he's to fulfill his dream of becoming a star running back not just in high school, but in college and beyond. But how does a person keep getting bigger, stronger, and faster?
A dramatic and accurate portrayal of the game of baseball and life.
For Ryan giving up baseball now would mean getting off the most exciting ride of his life.
Baseball, the loss of a parent, the temptations, of adolescence.
Joe Faust is ashamed of only two things. First, that he goes to a private school. Second, that he sold his soul to the devil.
Chance knows what he's doing is risky, but it's only for a short time. Nothing can really go wrong . . . or can it?
Young Adult Fiction -- Winner of the 1993 Golden Sower Award.
A life on the brink. . . A basketball season to remember.
Short Stories