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Mrs. Carter’s Hot Reads of the Week: March Madness

It’s March Madness time and since our beloved Memphis Tigers have been eliminated, we have more time to read.  Check out these hoops related titles just to keep the madness going . . . 

jordanSalt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream  by Delories and Roslyn M. Jordan and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, Micheal’s mother, reveals the story of how as a young boy Micheal Jordan struggled at the game. He really wasn’t a very good basketball player.  It was only through Micheal’s own tenacity and perseverance that he eventually became one of the greatest who ever played.  One of Mrs. Carter’s all-time favorite sports related picture books.  Not to be missed!

Jump!  From the Life of Micheal Jordan by Floyd Cooper

jumpMichael Jordan was once just an ordinary little boy growing up in a North Carolina suburb, trying to keep up with his older brother Larry. Michael was always good at sports, but it seemed like Larry was always going to be bigger, quicker, and luckier. But Michael never gave up, and his practicing began to pay off. Then one summer day during a backyard game of one-on-one, Larry Jordan’s “little” brother took him–and the whole family–by surprise!  Based on actual events, this story of a friendly sibling rivalry is enhanced by Floyd Cooper’s stunning two-tone art. Jump! even features a gate-fold depicting Michael Jordan’s trademark leap that will send young readers soaring. (Publisher’s Description)

STAT: Standing Tall and Talented Series by Amar’e Stoudemire and Tim Jessen

This beginning chapter book series is based on the life of All-Star NBA sensation Amar’e Stoudemire, who overcame many obstacles to become one of the most popular figures in sports today.

Home Court (STAT #1)

homecourtEleven-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire has a lot going on. He loves to go skateboarding in the park. He takes his school work very seriously. He helps out with his dad’s landscaping company. And he likes to play basketball with his best friends-but just for fun. When a group of older kids start disrespecting his boys on their neighborhood basketball court, there is only one solution. Amar’e must step in and use his athletic ability and intelligence to save the day. This experience leads Amar’e to realize that basketball is his true passion. (Publisher’s Description)

Double Team (STAT #2)

doubleteamEleven-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire has finally realized that out of all his hobbies, basketball is his true passion. Amar’e starts competing in tournaments with his two best friends, Deuce and Mike, and they are winning. While they play great together as a team, the real reason for their success is Amar’e’s incredible abilities. He’s carrying them. After a few big wins, Amar’e starts getting attention from some of the older, more elite players in Lake Wales. They all want him to join their squads. Amar’e wants to elevate his game and the only way to do that is to move on but his friends feel like he’s leaving them behind. Without Amar’e they’re barely contenders plus he never seems to have time for them anymore.

Slam Dunk (STAT #3)

slam dunkEleven-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire has been playing so much basketball lately it feels like he doesn’t have time to do all the things he used to love. His team needs him because he is one of the best players on the court despite also being one of the youngest.  When some of the older kids get on Amar’e for not being able to dunk, he sets a goal to make that happen soon. But when Amar’e’s playing time is put on hold, he’ll have to come to terms with all of the other things he’s been neglecting.

True Legend by Mike Lupica

true-legendDrew Robinson is a player.  He was born to play basketball.  Even as a youngster he could dish the ball so well, he played point with guys much bigger and older.  He’s been featured on All-American teams and has even owned the top two spots on ESPN’s top plays of the day.  No doubt about Drew Robinson is a “True” player, a natural, but Drew has begun to believe the hype surrounding him. Lebron Junior, indeed! Drew is surrounded by people who are willing to do anything to get Drew to the pros. Nothing else matters. Or does it? Will Drew fall victim to the hype, or will he discover what it takes to be a True Legend?

This book is about so much more than basketball. It is about discovering what matters in life and being true to the gifts God has given each and everyone. The basketball scenes are extremely well-done and hold your breath exciting.  After all, Lupica is a renown award-winning sports writer.  He knows his stuff, but the real story in True Legend, the story that kept me reading half the night, is not about the team’s season and attempt for a state championship, but the development of Drew’s character. Readers will find themselves cheering for Drew, his best friend Lee (I loved Lee.), and others in the book, not only as they play the game of basketball but as they learn to play the game of life.

Former University of Memphis basketball coach John Calipari said about True Legend, “Mike Lupica captures the passion of basketball, the allure of NBA stardom, and the risks kids will take to get it. True Legend gets it right.”   I agree, True Legend is a game winner.