A Christian perspective with a wider appeal.

SHAKEN

FIGHTING TO STAND STRONG NO MATTER WHAT COMES YOUR WAY

Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tebow pens a guide aimed at helping young people find a better way to live, adapted from his book for adults of the same name.

Using examples from his own tumultuous career, Tebow encourages readers to stay focused on their dreams, fight negativity, and stand up for what is right. And while the resource is focused on Christian principles, the lessons concentrating on hard work, determination, and kindness hold universal appeal. Tebow additionally draws upon examples of other young people who have faced adversity—cancer, limb amputation, and organ failure—as cases of how even in the most desperate situations, one can refuse to fall into self-pity, anger, and depression. Tebow’s easy, plainspoken style will give young fans the feeling that he is speaking directly to them. Biblical examples range from the steadfast endurance of Job to the selfless courage of David facing Goliath. Other stories include references to Michael Jordan and Albert Einstein. Tebow’s candid talk of his struggles with dyslexia and anger further humanize him. Notes include references for more reading and Biblical verses. While this resource will largely appeal to the young football fan, the inspirational stories will resonate with anyone willing to approach it with an open mind.

A Christian perspective with a wider appeal. (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7352-8996-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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A touching portrait of a remarkable celebrity influencer who used her exposure to inspire herself and others.

ALWAYS SMILE

CARLEY ALLISON'S SECRETS FOR LAUGHING, LOVING AND LIVING

When the late Canadian figure skater and singer/songwriter Carley Allison, was diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer at 17, she shared her difficult journey through treatment.

This authorized biography draws from Carley’s blog, text messages, photos on social media, and interviews with family and friends. All testify to Carley’s popularity, upbeat personality, athleticism, competitive drive, and generosity throughout her brief life. She set and met tough goals for herself through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Medical intervention exhausted, she tried residential treatment at an alternative Florida institute claiming cancer cures via a raw, vegan diet. Against her parents’ wishes, doctors told then-19-year-old Carley that she was dying. The timing of events isn’t always clear, and interviews are undated, but the clear intention is to inspire others to remain optimistic and positive: When an effort fails, there’s always something else to try. Contradicting that message is the equally strong portrait of someone exceptional afflicted with an exceedingly rare cancer. Carley, who was of European and Iranian descent, was supported by a loving, financially comfortable family and a loyal network of friends. It’s when the mask of cheery optimism falters that readers truly connect with Carley; then her journey becomes ours. Readers comfortable with social media will be drawn in by the large number of photographs, varied formats, and brief segments.

A touching portrait of a remarkable celebrity influencer who used her exposure to inspire herself and others. (Biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0040-0

Page Count: 392

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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