KID ATHLETES by David Stabler

KID ATHLETES

True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Short vignettes skim through the childhoods of a gathering of sports heroes.

The “True Tales” of the subtitle doesn’t necessarily mean riveting tales, as Stabler proves with these mostly ho-hum glimpses at sporting legends such as Jackie Robinson, Bobby Orr, and Danica Patrick (there are 16 personalities all told). The book is divided into three sections: future stars who had to battle money or gender issues; kids who got family encouragement; kids who learned it takes practice, practice, practice. There is no hope if you can’t coax a good story out of Babe Ruth, and Stabler can’t:  “So when Little George was seven, his parents asked a local official to declare him ‘incorrigible’ and to send him to a reformatory”—and the bulk of the entry focuses on young George’s development of a moral compass under the tutelage of Brother Matthias. So what if Peyton Manning was traumatized by dancing a tango in a school play? Many readers will already have experienced greater embarrassments, and the implication that dancing is an activity not befitting a football player is positively retrograde. “When his father first strapped a pair of ice skates onto his son’s feet, four-year-old Bobby [Orr] promptly fell onto the ice.” Not breaking news. Horner’s line drawings are a minor relief.

Uneven to forgettable. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-59474-802-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Quirk Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2015




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