There is both solace and inspiration in these 11 heroes, but it doesn’t take much to imagine that for each of them, there...

RISING ABOVE

HOW 11 ATHLETES OVERCAME CHALLENGES IN THEIR YOUTH TO BECOME STARS

Stories of 11 athletes overcoming adversity to become the cream of their sports, from Wall Street Journal writer Zuckerman and his two sons.

Some of these athletes’ stories are well-known, how they excelled despite the most serious obstacles, be it having only one hand and dreaming of being a baseball player (Jim Abbott) or standing down the racism that attended tennis, as Althea Gibson did. Others may be more obscure. Soccer goalie Tim Howard had to struggle with Tourette’s and obsessive-compulsive behavior; Stephen Curry was small enough that he had to be a walk-on at Virginia Tech to even get a chance at basketball. There is poverty, sexual abuse, physical abuse, abandonment, illiteracy, and even civil war in Congo. While the subjects can carry almost any weight, the Zuckermans struggle to bring them to life. Often luck was the key to success: being in the right place at the right time and seen by someone who got and kept the ball rolling. And while it is never easy to explain transcendent sporting ability, quotes like “It was like I was floating on air,” from Tim Howard, or—without diminishing LeBron James’ mother’s influence—“He had his mother to love and comfort him” have little insight to offer.

There is both solace and inspiration in these 11 heroes, but it doesn’t take much to imagine that for each of them, there were dozens who didn’t get the break. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-17382-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage.

THE GIRL'S BODY BOOK

A growing-up guide for preteen girls.

This puberty-navigation guide covers girls’ bodily changes, body care, health, relationships with family and friends, staying safe, and handling stress. In many cases the author, a registered nurse, has covered the same material as she did in various editions of this title as well as The Boy’s Body Book. This girls’ book skips the topics of sleep and performance-enhancement drugs in favor of a section on eating disorders. As in the boys’ book, controversial subjects are addressed generally and conservatively if at all. She includes a rough diagram of female reproductive organs and tells her young readers about menstruation and visiting a gynecologist but not how babies are made. She talks about having boys as friends, saying “Don’t put pressure on yourself to call any of your close friendships ‘dating.’ ” The strength of this title is its emphasis on good grooming, healthy living habits, and positive relationships. Added for this fourth edition is new material on interacting with adults, personal empowerment, body language, reputations, and “learning disabilities,” helpful information for the growing segment of the preteen population identified with cognitive and social learning differences. Tallardy’s cartoon illustrations show girls and adults of varying ethnicities and provide a cheerful accompaniment.

This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60433-714-3

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Cider Mill Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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