Next book



Though averagely written, Griner delivers an important message, particularly for young adults, about embracing your...

The growing pains of a gay student athlete.

With Hovey, Griner, the three-time All-American and No. 1 selection in the 2013 WNBA draft, writes a coming-of-age memoir about her struggle to live authentically. A bullied and despondent junior high school student in Houston, Texas, she wished away her height (she grew to 6 feet 8 inches tall), strength and tenacity, the traits that would soon make her a basketball phenomenon. Griner's adolescent voice is earnest, as when she writes that she didn’t tell her parents the cruelties she endured "because my mom would get sad and my dad would get mad." She excelled at basketball in high school (a video of her dunking went viral), and her growing confidence gave her a sense of purpose; however, her misery continued when her overbearing father kicked her out of the house for being gay. Though colleges across the country heavily recruited her, she hastily chose Baylor University for its strong basketball program and close proximity to her ailing mother. However, given Baylor's ethical stance against homosexuality, some readers may question how an out lesbian could fail to do her due diligence and arrive on campus unaware of this policy. Griner resented head coach Kim Mulkey's insistence that she hide her sexuality, and despite leading her team to a national championship in her junior year, she continued to feel "a growing sense that who I am…needed to be hidden away in order for me to survive my time at Baylor." This revelation will not come as a shock. Since leaving Baylor, Griner has become an advocate for LGBTQ youth, assuring them that "the rewards of being authentic far outweigh the risks." 

Though averagely written, Griner delivers an important message, particularly for young adults, about embracing your uniqueness.

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-230933-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: It Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

Next book


A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview